Happy Monday... well, only if it is indeed a happy Monday for you. I really enjoy my Mondays, but that is because I have worked hard to make my Mondays work for me. For most of my adult life, I have had Mondays off. That was true up until about 10 months ago. It was at that time that  I was offered the opportunity to work on a Monday. Having spent 10 years having Mondays off, I was sure there would be some adjustments and there were. However, I learned a few things in my transition to working on Mondays and having Mondays work for me.

And... since each week it is my desire to provide you with something that is helpful for you to grow in one of three areas, I’m hoping to provide something that will grow you in your ability to pursue God, in your ability to build community, or in your ability to unleash compassion. I want this to be helpful for you, as a young adult, to continue moving forward as you follow Jesus and help others do the same. 

This week I wanted to share with you three tips to making Mondays work for you. 

1. Plan Your Day, Attack Your Day, And Your Day Will Get Slayed

The biggest challenge to making a Monday work for you is figuring out what work is important, what is urgent, what is unnecessary, and what is never going to be important. We all have things in our jobs, our classes, and our lives that can feel really important.  We have things that feel really urgent because they were at one time important. But because we didn't prioritize and work on them before today, they have now become urgent. There are projects, tasks, and to-dos that can feel big right now, but in 20 minutes, they actually didn't do anything to move you or your week forward. Then there are a number of things that took up time today, let’s be honest, you could never have completed and the world would still have moved forward. 

The challenge many of us face is figuring out what to prioritize and, by those choices, move our day forward. There are two tools that I use to help me with this challenge. The best part? Both are free and both you can do whether you’re a barista at Starbucks, a CEO, or just starting new classes for your sophomore year. 

The first tool helps you define and organize your daily duties. (LINK HERE)  The second is deciding what your limit for the day will be. We all have more asks on our time and energy than we have resources available. So learning when to turn off for the day is extremely important to making your Monday work for you.

I stick to three big things for the day. Now... any day can and will consist of more little things, but I like to put the big rocks in my day first. For example, Today is Monday and in my Monday BIG ROCK PILE I have:

MONDAY

1. Message Prep

2. Changemaker Email (this one you’re reading)

3. Lead Team Recap

I prioritize these three things that will need to get done today for my day to be a win.  These three items also align with a bigger strategy to move our whole community forward this season. Intermixed in my day, there will be some emails (I usually only check email around noon) and other minor things. These three rocks rarely get moved because they are important for the rest of my week. 

Identifying your big rocks each day is key to walking away at the end of the  day feeling successful and making the day work for you.  

2. Remember You Have Four More Days

This is really important to remember because many of us can get so overwhelmed on Monday that we let the pressure of what else is happening this week get in the way of today. So... remember you have four more days to move the ball forward for whatever you are doing. If you can prioritize Monday, then I bet you could prioritize Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday too. The beautiful thing is if you can get your day into 2-3 big blocks of energy, then you can actually make a bigger impact over time. A lot like a river over rock, our energy and effort, concentrated in an area, tends to leave a more lasting mark than rain droplets all over. Consequently, you'll also feel better about the quality and impact your work is having as well. 

After using the tool for prioritizing, use the suggestions for planning and begin to put some task items that are high priority further down the week. Stick to them! Using the other four days of your week to work on things that aren't as urgent or high priority can (and will) move you away from dreading Mondays to being excited for Mondays to come. Why? Because you can begin to see where you win, where you miss it, and to make plans to positively affect the work you have coming.  For example, My Tuesday BIG THREE:

Tuesday:

1. Meeting with Admin

2. ET Recap

3. Personal Development

Notice the nature of Tuesday seems less intense than Monday. Why? Because I am aware that obstacles or challenges that are hard to foresee tend to rise on Tuesday. Since I am aware of that, I try to keep really taxing projects off my plate on Tuesday. Those are better served on a Thursday for me and my rhythm.  So make adjustments, but remember you still have a few more days in your week.

3. Celebrate and Rest

This may seem counterintuitive, but one of the keys to making Monday work for you is to celebrate and rest after you've accomplished your big three. Why you ask? Because it is an accomplishment, it is a goal, and it is something you worked hard to make happen. Second, some Mondays it might take everything in you to get your big three done. It may be the toughest week because of a personal issue, a life circumstance, or unforeseen challenge, so celebrate and rest. Other weeks, it might come relatively easy. Use that as a gift to rest up for the weeks it won’t be so easy. In the military, there is an idiom called the "20 mile rule." When armies are hiking or moving on the ground, they're encouraged to always travel an allotted distance each day and not to deviate from it. By setting an allotted distance, the troops can work at the pace and energy needed for that distance. There will be days when traveling 20 miles might take an entire day. But there are also days when it takes a few hours. Instead of trying to do more miles that day, the troops will pause, rest, and celebrate because there is often another day coming when it won’t be easy. 

So.. to help you make Mondays work for you:

1. Plan Your Day, Attack Your Day, And Your Day Will Get Slayed

2. Remember You Have Four More Days

3. Celebrate and Rest 

So here's to Monday y'all! Jesus is for you, created you, is using you to help others see him. Lean in today!

I'm honored to serve with you and I am praying for God to be working in and though you this week!