A Case of the Mondays

A Case of the MondaysI was all hyped up last night for today. I was going to get up early and get some work done. I just KNEW I would get up on time, I’d fix myself a nice pot of coffee, add some caramel macchiato creamer, get comfy on my couch, and rip through all the assignments I had due this week.

Turns out, I overslept by an hour and a half. Groggy, I made my way to the kitchen, let pup out of his bed, put his harness on him, opened the door, and, ta-da! It’s pouring the rain. I fumbled with my pup’s raincoat, got it around him, hooked him up to his cable, and set him loose.

I trudged through my morning routine, made it back to the door to let pup back in the house, and through the door he runs, shaking the rain across my apartment all the way. Still, my day isn’t going so bad.

I get ready to leave the house, make it to my car, and run to a nearby town so I can go to Hobby Lobby and a few other places. As I make it through the aisles, the rain starts coming down harder, the parking lot begins to get flooded in a few areas, and as I leave, I soak my shoes in the puddles.

Back in my car on the way home, I almost rear-end someone who decides to slam on their brakes in the pouring rain. I go off to the side a little because my brakes don’t seem to be stopping quick enough and, while I manage to avoid hitting the car, I do end up hitting the curb a bit. I’m not sure what it did to my car because I’m afraid to look, but the sound of it didn’t seem so great.

I get home, set my drink on top of the car as I get my bags out of the backseat, and all of a sudden, although my umbrella is protecting me from the rain, I am suddenly soaked. My drink had fallen off the top of my car and landed on me and the backseat of my car. Lovely. And the day has just barely begun.

I’m doing my best, however, not to let the dreary day get to me. My Mondays aren’t usually this bad, but they could be a whole lot worse. So, in order to spread the cheer, I’ve come up with a few ways to get rid of your “Rainy Monday Blues.” I hope they help you.

  • Watch the rain on the window. Remember when you were a kid and you would be in the car staring out the window as rain fell outside? Go back to that time, pick a couple drops running down the window, and try to pick which one will win the race to the bottom.Sail Away
  • Dress up. I know that your mood may say you should be in comfy sweatpants and an oversized sweater, but dressing up always boosts my mood. If you need a little confidence boost, people will likely be giving you more compliments than usual when you dress up on a Monday because everyone else will be dressed to fit their mood. Try a pop of color to add a little extra cheer.
  • Play with a puppy. I’m pretty sure there’s plenty of research that says puppies relieve stress and make people more cheerful. What else will make you feel better faster than a cute, fluffy puppy who will give you tons of love and kisses? If you don’t have a puppy or know someone with one, then head to a shelter or pet store and play with them there.
  • Go to the gym. This one always works for me if I can manage to get myself there. Exercise helps your endorphin levels – a.k.a. it makes you feel good. Don’t feel like being around people? Try one of those fitness regimens that do not require any equipment. If you’re pressed for time, there are always five- or ten-minute routines you can try!
  • Reward yourself for making it through your Monday. What do you enjoy? Chocolate? Movies? Both? Reward yourself for making it through your Monday (or even during a break for not losing it by that point in the day) by giving yourself something you love. If you have a favorite movie, watch it. Been craving a brownie? You deserve it. Make Mondays work for you.

No matter what you do to make your Monday better, just remember: the weekend is only 4 days away!

Do you have some other way of beating rainy Mondays? Let me know in the comments below!

Photos:
“A Case of the Mondays” taken by Volkan Olmez. Available on unsplash.com
“Sail Away” taken by Hugo Kerr. Available on unsplash.com

Procrastinator Productivity… Or Not

Has your butt ever been adhered to the couch? Mind has. For like 12 hours. Last night. Until 4:30 in the morning. What is wrong with me?

procrastination-centralI am a no-holds-barred procrastinator through and through. I always make plans to be better but never follow through. Why? I don’t know. I guess I like the challenge of trying to create something of quality in one night that my professors say is impossible. In fact, I wrote a 15-page midterm the day before it was due in less than six hours and I earned an A.

I guess you could say that I like a challenge.

Anywho, procrastination. I said I was going to better in graduate school, damn it. I even made plans to have a daily schedule like my professors suggested and I planned on reading all of the readings and I planned on completing my assignments in advance.

Did I? If I had would I have been glued to the same spot on my couch until 4:30 in the morning sucking down energy drinks and pecking away furiously at my poor computer’s keyboard?

I said I’d be better in graduate school. I was awful in undergrad. I even did my entire senior project the night before it was due.

Why am I telling you this? Because may you are a procrastinator and maybe you want to change that. Although they haven’t helped all that much, here’s what’s helped me somewhat anyhow.

  • The dreadsteps-to-productivityed to-do list: Yes, the awful to-do list actually helps. I often add way too many items to my list because I decide I need to clean and read for class and complete all of my upcoming assignments and complete some freelance projects all on the same day. But there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of crossing items off your to-do list. Make checking an item off your to-do list part of your to-do list. BOOM. You’re already on your way to productivity.
  • The dreaded schedule: Why do I dread making a schedule? Because I feel like I have to stick to it 100% and something always comes along that messes up one of my time slots (some spur-of-the-moment meeting for an assistantship or group project or something). When one of my time slots gets messed up, I immediately throw the whole schedule out the window. Don’t be like me. Even if a time slot for productivity gets interrupted, keep to the rest of the schedule you’ve set and you’ll be on your way to productivity in no time.
  • Try out some productivity apps: I have a couple apps on my phone centered on productivity. They allow me to plan out my schedule and set time limits for working on various tasks. An alarm goes off when a time limit is up and alerts me of the next task and starts counting down the time. Having little reminders like these really help out to get you moving on the next task you need to accomplish.
  • Break up the tasks: Don’t sit down and crank out a 25 page paper in 12 hours straight like I did. Just don’t. Use apps or some other time limit and set each task you work on for about 30-45 minutes, take a break, and go on to the next task. Give your brain a break now and then and don’t fry it by working on one task for too long.
  • Reward yourself: That’s right. Use that schedule you made and schedule in some time for a Netflix binge-watching session or to eat a whole pint of ice cream. Did you finish an assignment early? Bake yourself a cake. Or buy one from the store if you’re not a good cook. Did you clean your apartment (or at least pick your clothes up off your bedroom floor)? Go have a drink with friends or cuddle with your dog. Reward yourself for your accomplishments and you’ll be productive in no time.

procrastination-to-productivityI hope these five steps help you to not procrastinate and get stuff done. My supervisor for one of graduate assistantships has “G.S.D.” written on her wall to remind her to “Get S(tuff) Done.”

Just do it and get it over with so you don’t have to struggle to complete everything you need to accomplish.

What are you still doing here? Go get some stuff done! (Or watch Netflix. Either one.)

(Image Sources: Photographers in the order the photographs appear are Jonathan Velasquez, Jake Hills, and Patrik Goethe. Images retrieved from www.unsplash.com)