Many of us hit the snooze button on a Monday morning in hopes of getting just five more minutes of shut eye. It may seem like a harmless habit, but this small act sets the tone for your week. Think about it: before you have even started your day, you’re already running behind.
As a CEO, I believe a strict Monday morning routine can make your day — and week — much more productive. Here are five of my Monday morning habits that help put me in a productive mindset before I even get to the office.
1. Spend some time alone to reflect on the day ahead.
Each morning, I wake up at 5:30 a.m. and start my day by making my wife coffee and grabbing the morning news. I fight the desire to reach for my phone to check emails or return messages, and instead spend time reading the paper for 30 minutes or so while I enjoy my morning coffee. Taking a few slower-paced moments before starting another busy day helps me focus on the big picture including my short and long-term business goals. Sometimes I write my goals down during these moments of reflection. I’ve found that writing goals down is incredibly powerful and it’s something I have been doing my whole life. I encourage everyone — from my agents to my kids — to write their goals down as a personal commitment to themselves to take steps to make them happen. There is nothing better than finding an old goal list and seeing all that you have accomplished.
2. Get a healthy flow of endorphins.
My physical health is critical to my mental health and energy levels. With this in mind, I try to work out 4 to 6 times a week for at least 30 minutes. On the weekends, I take advantage of extra time and I not only extend my workout but I also step up the intensity. I always exercise in the morning because I’ve learned that if I don’t exercise early in the day, then it is just not going to happen. Since making morning exercise a habit, I’ve noticed an improvement in mental performance during the day. A Monday first rush of energy powers me into work to approach the good, bad and ugly and keeps mental fatigue at bay all the way through the afternoon.
3. Get back in the news cycle.
Whether I read the Wall Street Journal or listen to a news podcast on my 20-minute commute into the office, I always make an effort to get up to speed on local and international news. In addition, once at my desk, I make an effort to read from Financial Times, Barron’s, and Fortune for a variety of viewpoints and to catch up on any new articles that may have come through overnight. Doing this every Monday provides me with a fresh slate for the week ahead, immediate insight into industry and market trends, which are necessary for staying ahead in such a competitive industry.
4. Set aside time to catch up on email and phone calls.
Since I try to take Sundays off to mentally restore from a week of nonstop technology, I allow for extra time on Monday mornings to follow up on emails and phone calls. As more and more business happens online versus in a cubicle or a 9-to-5 meeting room, it’s entirely feasible to never stop working. Smartphones, social media, and the expectation to be available all of the time make taking a breath much more difficult. Implementing a Monday morning tech reconnect to get a handle on your inbox is a necessity to keep stress in check.
5. Touch base face-to-face.
My company is a sales organization, which means Monday is crucial for setting the pace of sales for the rest of the week. To make the transition from Sunday to Monday a little easier, my team always meets face to face over lunch to prepare for our outlined goals. Before our team meeting, I personally connect with a handful of agents individually for some one-on-one coaching, helping to cut out any back and forth or disconnect that can occur over email. By implementing a Monday morning face-to-face, our company kicks off on a positive note and makes sure we’re on the same page to provide our clients with the best service possible throughout the rest of the week.
– Scott Gibson is the CEO of Gibson International