The Beauty of List Building
Monday morning came as quickly as Friday night went. I woke up to the usual Monday morning mind explosion. You know the one. Before your eyes are even fully focused, your mind has created a list of things that should have been done already.
These feelings of dread and overwhelm quickly moves from your brain into the pit of your stomach. Even if you wanted to snooze those extra 10 minutes you were allowed, you can’t. You are in panic mode. You are already wasting precious time.
There’s nothing like waking up on a Monday morning already feeling mentally exhausted and physically sick. Breathe, meditate, exercise – not going to happen as long as you are completely weighted down with the pressure of your upcoming week.
So, how DO you get through this? How do you channel that negative, anxious, stressed out energy into positive, recharging and focused action? The List!
I’ve used this approach for years now. – from my college days to my corporate days to my current entrepreneurial days. It works. I swear by it.
You need to create a place to take all of what’s on your mind and capture it. You need to shift it from taking up valuable real estate in your mind to putting it somewhere else. You need to take it out of your head so that it stops taking control of your actions and emotions.
You need to write it down. Every single thought that comes to your mind, write it down. No particular order. Personal or professional. Kids to dos or work projects. Reminders for next weekend. Whatever it is, just write it down.
PHEW! Yes, out of mind, but now you have a terribly long list sitting in front of you! Before that anxiousness creeps back in, start grouping your list. Personal. Important. Urgent. Must do to stay alive. Whatever titles work for you.
Then, look at your list/groups. What can you move to next week? Yes, I know. You really want to get it all done this week. You really should get it all done this week (that is your mind talking, not me). The reality is – you won’t get it all done this week. So, deal with that reality and move some stuff.
What you do now is up to you. I like to go get a cup of tea. Then, I sit back down and identify where in my calendar I will have time to do all the things on my list. If I realize I won’t have enough time, I move some non-urgent things either to next week, or off the list entirely. Oh, and don’t forget to save some time every day for the unexpected! If the unexpected happens, you are ready for it. If it doesn’t, well, you have some time for the rest of the list (or, an early dinner!).
Then, I dive in.
Don’t let Monday morning anxiety and overwhelm set the tone for your week. Take control, make a list, scrub the list, schedule the list and then dive in.
Quick Hit Health: Monday Morning List Building
Right now, open your calendar for Monday. Now, schedule time as early as you can in the day to do the list building exercise I outline above.
Then use that list to take control of your mind, your body and your week.