Contrary to many business owners and even normal people. Mondays are my favourite day of the week. The reason I love Mondays is because it gives me a chance to exercise all the ideas and planning that my subconscious and conscious mind have been brewing over the weekend.
There is always so much to do in any given week, that I’m glad when a full working week arrives again, so I can commit and create more than I did last week.
How do people stay motivated on Mondays? In the UK it’s getting into winter here. Which means that the room is cold when I wake up, it’s dark outside, there seem to be fewer customers searching for projects and I feel I haven’t really had a decent lie in.
However, I’m always excited and motivated to sit down at my computer and start crushing the results that I so desperately want. Below are my 7 motivation hacks that turbocharge my Monday mornings.
Think of your Monday morning as pouring high octane fuel into the rest of your week. I’m a firm believer in the phrase “start as you mean to go on”. Therefore, if my Monday is motivated and productive and energised, the rest of my week will follow suit.
1. Read a book
I completely understand and can sympathise with anyone who finds waking up first thing on a Monday morning difficult. Personally, I do believe that if you are dreading the week ahead then you should be taking a closer look at what your goals are.
I can also understand the difficulty in leaving your bed to get up and do whatever it is you need to do in the morning.
Some people meditate or exercise first thing in the morning (I’m a fan of both). But the very first thing I do on most mornings is read.
There are literally thousands of incredible, insightful and motivational books to help grow yourself and your business. Hell, I’ve got a list of those top 35 books (at the time of writing) that I love here.
I see reading as pushing the ignition key in on a cold winter morning. It’s the first step towards heating up the car and engine and getting the revs going. My Kindle is always by my bed and as many people know, I try to read a book a week. But starting my day by reading a chapter or two of my latest motivational book, helps set me up for the day and week ahead.
I’m usually so motivated by the end of reading for half an hour or 45 minutes, that I’m ready to spring out of bed and crack on with my day.
If you ever think that reading TAKES time out of your day, then you aren’t reading the right books. I would much rather invest 1 hour into reading a focused and productive book, in order to make the next few hours of my day more energised.
If you need a list of books that you should read as a funnel builder (or as any business) then go ahead and check out my list of book recommendations here.
2. Plan your week
One of the reasons I remember thinking that the week ahead could be hard work, is because the week could be seen as overwhelming. All of my tasks, objectives, responsibilities and obligations seems to be piling up over and over.
I’ve spoken about time management, planning and deep work before.I believe that planning your week, right down to the individual hours that you work, is one of the most motivational things you can do.
By taking the time to get the back of an envelope, diary or planner, you can map out exactly what it is you need to do during the week.
I like to start by writing down all my priorities and obligations and then fitting in each task into 45 minute to 2 hour time blocks.
Our brains are really good at repeating our nagging thoughts and worries over and over. That’s pretty much the entire purpose of the brain, to replay thoughts. However these thoughts can become harmful and destructive if not dealt with. I find that writing out a list of what I want to accomplish and then deciding when I’m going to do it sets my mind up for the rest of the week.
3. Switch to autopilot
Something I’ve learned to do both through creating a habit and in order to accomplish more, is switching my brain to autopilot. There are many tasks which we are capable of carrying out without conscious and energy consuming thoughts.
Think about when you first learned to drive your car. It was exhausting learning to drive. Switching gears, reading the road, taking directions. It all took up precious mental energy in order to learn how to drive safely.
Now, you’re capable of listening to the radio, eating, having a conversation and planning your route all at the same time while operating the car safely.
One of my most prized abilities now is to switch my brain off and work on autopilot for my morning routine. If I wake up and go for a run I don’t allow myself the time to think about the warm bed and cold bedroom air. I simply switch my brain off and work on autopilot to get dressed and head out the door.
For tasks such as writing content or creating videos, in a funny way I kind of switch my mind off from all the thoughts and doubts, and let my creative brain completely take over.
Even as I’m writing this I simply don’t allow my thoughts to be distracted by anything that would take away from the creative activity I’m doing. My brain is pretty much on autopilot as I write out this blog post.
Allow your brain to move to autopilot and push all of the negativity, doubt and attention sapping distractions to the back of your mind. Bury those thoughts and allow your incredibly complex “millions-of-years-old” brain to do what it does best.
4. Advertise yourself
The first thing I’ll say to myself in the morning is my own advert.
This was a technique I picked up from the book The Magic Of Thinking Big by David J Schwartz. The book itself is absolutely brilliant and talks about how to think larger than we are trained to believe.
One of the exercises that comes up in the book is writing your own advert. We are often motivated to buy products and invest in software and services after we read an advert. We could get clever and start talking about content marketing, blog posts and reviews. But ultimately those are all adverts. They’re designed to position a product or action to us as desirable and beneficial.
Now ask yourself, have you ever read an advert for yourself? It’s an incredibly liberating and scary thing to do. I know a lot of people don’t like talking about themselves, hence why our own websites and CVs leave much to the imagination. Yet, we are able to easily convince others of products or services that they should buy. We are constantly creating adverts for our own hobbies, pastimes and purchases. But we never take the time to invest in convincing ourselves that WE are also worth investing in.
I have my own advert, or commercial as Dr Schwartz calls it. It’s only a 60 second piece of text that I carry with me at all times.
It tells me everything I am, everything I can do and why I’m important. What I really like about this exercise, is that my advert write about things I will and can be. Not necessarily my current achievements. It’s less about blowing my own trumpet than it is about advertising what I will do to the world, for my community and my customers, friends and family. Most importantly it sets me up for believing in myself.
Try writing your own commercial or advert. It doesn’t have to be long only has to be 10 to 15 lines. But I want you to introduce yourself to someone who needs your help.
The example given in Dr Schwarz’s book is by a salesman called Tom Staley.
Tom Staley, meet Tom Staley–an important, a really important person.
Tom, you’re a big thinker, so think big. Think big about everything.
You’ve got plenty of ability to do a first-class job, so do a first-class job.
Tom, you believe in Happiness, Progress, and Prosperity.
So: talk only Happiness,
talk only Progress,
talk only Prosperity.
You have lots of drive, Tom, lots of drive.
So put that drive to work. Nothing can stop you, Tom, nothing.
Tom, you’re enthusiastic. Let your enthusiasm show
You look good, Tom, and you feel good. Stay that way.
Tom Staley, you were a great follow yesterday and you’re going to be an even greater follow today.
Now go to it, Tom.
I’ve also included a picture of my own commercial below. I’ve even gone so far as to record myself saying it as an MP3 and playing it back to myself in the mornings on the car journey to work, as well as when I sit down at my desk. I also say the advert to myself every morning a bit like a mantra.
5. Print quotes
Motivational quotes get a bit of a bad rap. Particularly as the only people who post them on Facebook are often those who have done absolutely nothing with their own lives.
However I do believe that they serve a very important purpose as small prompts to remind us to keep going on our own personal journeys.
I’ve talked before about motivational lessons (that actually work) before. I’ve also mentioned how I have a poster in front of me at all times which says-
“You are interesting and people are excited to hear from you.
Smile, energy, have fun.
Does a $500 million company do this?”
These small prompts allow me to quickly re-centre and focus myself when I feel I’m getting distracted. Or, if I’m beginning to get off track, discouraged or feeling sorry for myself I can remind myself of all the meaning behind those quotes.
That’s really what I believe these quotes are supposed to do. The quotes themselves probably won’t change your entire outlook on life. But attaching lessons, reading, reflection and experiences to those quotes is a great way of summing up an entire book or philosophy in an easily recordable format. Kind of how like if you look at a movie title like Jurassic Park o It’s a Wonderful Life, the title brings back the emotions and feelings of watching that particular movie.
You can get the 15 motivational quotes that I use here. Or use your own collection to print out and put in front of you and remind you of everything you’ve learnt.
6. Tell yourself you’re going to enjoy it
If all else fails, fake it.
Belief is a funny thing in the human mind. After years or even decades of telling yourself that you don’t like a particular task (going to the gym going for a run, cooking, reading, dieting, writing) you can quickly retrain your mind into getting a kick from that same task if you lie to yourself.
This is where I believe the phrase “fake it till you make it” is most prominent. By repeatedly telling yourself out loud and convincingly you are going to enjoy a task, you will. It really is as simple as that.
“You’ll go enjoy this run Mike, you going to love going for a run, coming home and having some breakfast.”
I often hear myself saying this out loud if I’m battling the urge to wake up and get out of bed. Or any other task that matter. When I wrote my first book From Single To Scale, I had to write every day for 2 hours from 7 in the morning until 9 AM.
I repeatedly told myself over and over that I would love writing and I would enjoy writing the book. I knew I wanted to write, I just didn’t think I would enjoy it. It’s much easier to do something, obviously, when you know you’re going to enjoy it. But repeatedly telling myself over and over that I would enjoy it eventually switched my mind over to anticipating and even craving writing in the morning faster than I realised.
If you’re really struggling to do something that you know you should do but aren’t necessarily motivated to do, then tell yourself you’re going to enjoy it. Say it out loud and convince yourself that this is something that you are going to enjoy.
7. Put your trainers on
this advice comes from my partner, Liv. Liv is a long-time amateur runner and running specialist sports therapist. Liv told me the easiest way to go for a run is to put your trainers on. She often tells me that the hardest part of going to the gym or going for a run, is putting on your trainers. Once your trainers are on (to our US and global audience, trainers are also known as sneakers or running shoes), it’s much harder to stop yourself from going for a run.
Writers often use this exercise as well when they need to write. Many writers will simply sit down and start hitting the keys. Even if it is garbled nonsense at first, eventually their mind falls in sink with their writing rhythm and begins formulating words.
The action of the task is what often inspires the motivation for the task. Nothing is created from nothing. Many people feel that “the right time” is when they should start a new task.
“I’ll start writing when the spirit moves me and I’m inspired to write.”
“I’ll start going for a run when I’m feeling better and it gets a bit warmer.”
You can’t afford to wait for the right time. Partly, because the right time never exists. But also because the act of motivation, commitment and energy often follows the initial action of the task.
Putting on your trainers and heading out the door on autopilot. Writing random words and sentences in order to start writing content. There are many examples of tasks you need to undergo which can quite easily start with randomised actions first.
So that was our list of seven motivational hacks to turbocharge your Monday morning. Are there any motivational tips and tricks that you use in your daily lives that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below.