man in autumn woods

You hear more and more these days how important it is to “unplug” and “get off the grid” to restore balance to your professional and personal life. I believe with every fiber of my high-speed internet that this is becoming not just important but one of the most important elements of a life well-lived.

I put it right up there with a healthy diet, exercise, and good night of sleep. It is absolutely critical for one to put the dopamine drip device away and spend time having conversations, taking hikes, being with friends and family, building something, or pretty much anything that does not require a screen.

I don’t think anyone needs convincing of this at this point. That is not what this is about.

What got me thinking this morning was the idea of plugging back in after taking time off.

It is Monday morning, and I have not touched my laptop all weekend, and spent very little time using my phone for anything other than google maps.

What I found this morning, much like other Monday mornings, is after spending a couple of days away from work, my to-do list, my work tasks, and my email, I find it difficult to jump into the deep end and crush my Monday morning like I really want to.

My brain is still recovering, my mind is free of the stress related to work, and my inner creative is running wild with ideas that are often not related to work.

As a result of the difficulty in the transition, I have been working on a few methods for decreasing the time it takes to transition back into work mode and increasing my Monday output.

  1. Exercise — spending even just 10 or 20 minutes getting the blood flowing in the morning helps get me motivated to tackle the tasks ahead.
  2. Meditate — I am not referring to a full-blown focus on your breath while reciting a mantra meditation, but simply spending a few moments before you go to bed and first thing upon waking running through your day focused on being productive. Imagine yourself scanning your to-do list, catching up on emails, and then tackling your tasks like a boss.
  3. Close The Loops— give yourself time to transition, but not too much. Give yourself about an hour on Monday morning to transition into work mode by creating a to-do list for the upcoming trip you were dreaming about over the weekend, add the movies you talked about with your friends to your Netflix queue, pay the credit card bills you racked up while going out over the weekend, and send a text to anyone you hung out with thanking them for a good time. Essentially, you want to close the loops that the weekend opened and set reminders for anything that requires them.
  4. Crush It — Remember that your weekends will be much more enjoyable if you feel like you totally crushed your week. That week begins now, not Tuesday afternoon with the haze of weekend fun wears off, but Monday morning the moment you sit down to do your thing. Get after it.

Monday’s don’t have to be shit. They can be an opportunity to dive back into your work week with a renewed lust for life. Let the weekends be reminders of why our weeks are so important. Give the week your all and earn that down-time. I promise you will enjoy it even more.

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