I love Mondays.
I know a lot of pastors and ministry leaders who do not love Mondays. From visions of driving bread trucks to dreams of summer vacation, I have friends and clients who treat Mondays like a six-year-old treats a vegetable plate.
But I love Mondays. And I want you to love Mondays, too. So here are ten ways you can make Monday awesome.
Get to bed 30 minutes earlier on Sunday
Don't turn a long day into a late night. Instead of taking a long nap in the afternoon, take a 20 minute power nap. And use this plan to help you get a good night's sleep.
Get up 30 minutes later on Monday
I know that the temptation is to hit the ground running on Monday morning. Maybe you need to make up for a mediocre Sunday. I know you want to crush it if you had a phenomenal weekend. But sometimes the most effective way to be productive is to rest.
So push your alarm back 30 minutes. Consider it a reminder that the fruit of your labor is cultivated by our God who never sleeps. And by pairing this up with the extra 30 minutes you gave yourself the night before, you just scheduled an additional hour of sleep.
Workout in the morning
My father-in-law is a high school football coach. Every Saturday morning after a game, he has his team come in for a brief workout. Not only does it help them recover physically by getting their body moving, but it also helps them to refocus after the previous night's game, win or lose.
So after mentally, spiritually and emotionally exhausting yourself over the weekend, make physical exercise part of your recovery. Get your body moving during the morning. Flex some muscles. Elevate your heart rate. Stretch yourself out. And if you don't have a workout plan, start here.
Spend time with Jesus before you get to work
We are physically alive because we breathe in and breathe out. We stay spiritually alive by listening to God through the Scriptures and responding in prayer. My recommendation would be to spend 30-45 minutes reading the Bible and prayerfully meditate on what you just read.
Don't use this time to prep for next week's sermon. Write or journal if you find that helpful. Personally, having a pen in my hand makes me feel like I'm working instead of spending time with God.
So I am looking for one part of what I am reading that stands out to me and then I talk with God about it. Sometimes that happens on my couch; sometimes that takes place as I walk around my neighborhood. And leave the phone in the other room as a reminder that you can untether from the world and not get lost.
Work from home
Instead of being the first one in the office on Mondays, do your work from home. Maybe you spend all of Monday at your house. Perhaps it works best for you to get out of the house by Monday afternoon. Find a rhythm that helps you begin to refocus vocationally without causing you to feel like you just got catapulted from an aircraft carrier.
Eat a meal with your wife
Weekends are full for the families of pastors. One way to reconnect with your wife is to eat breakfast or lunch with her on Mondays.
Find someone to take care of the kids, if necessary. Spend some time catching up on the events of the past few days. Check in on each other emotionally; 'how are you?' is a great question for both of you to ask and answer.
Laugh with your kids
Because weekends are full for the families of pastors, your kids may not get a lot of time with Dad. Your responsibilities with other people crowd out your responsibility to your kids. So make time for your children on Mondays and make sure it's fun.
What this looks like depends a lot on your life stage and what constitutes fun in your house. I aim for an hour at the end of my work day where my three boys and I are going to end up laughing a lot. We have a blast watching Looney Tunes cartoons or playing dodgeball as we remember that life is not always serious.
Schedule your week
If you start Monday without a pretty clear picture of what your work week looks like, take no more than 30 minutes and set up your calendar. I use Google Calendar, and I have a template that automates that major pieces of my schedule. That template helps me reduce the cognitive load of figuring out when I am going to get all my work done. It also helps me know when I am available as last-minute opportunities present themselves.
Review your message
Before you get to work on next week's message, take 15-30 minutes to review what you said yesterday. Ask yourself three basic questions: 1) What went well in your preparation and delivery? 2) What would you do differently about your preparation and delivery if you had to do it again? 3) What one change do you need to make in your preparation and delivery before next weekend?
Your review does not have to go deep or take long, particularly if you have a more in-depth review process with other people in the church. But I find that a few minutes on Monday allows me to capture the thoughts I had during and after my message on Sunday that I'll forget by the time Wednesday rolls around.
Avoid morning meetings
Write this down - 'no decisions will be made on Monday mornings' - and make it gospel for your leadership team.
The amount of energy that pastors and ministry leaders put in over the weekend necessitates a recharging of your mental capacities. So move your staff meeting or elders' meeting to Monday afternoon or later in the week.
Give yourself time and space to reload and refocus. Oh, and since most meetings are a waste of time, you might want to reimagine why you're having all these meetings in the first place.
Do The Next Right Thing
Take the next ten minutes and choose one of these solutions that you can apply to your life and work today (if today is Monday) or no later than next Monday. And keep using trial-and-error until you figure out your rhythm and learn to love Mondays.
Was this helpful to you? Make sure to use the options on the left side of the page to share this with someone else!