So years back you had this brilliant idea that could change your whole life for the better. That travel agency you would run from your home, that dog-sitting business, or the coolest new app. Fast-forward 5 years and you resent yourself for not having done anything about it. Nothing. Not even browse the topic on the internet or type the words into Google search.
How can you put an end to this recurring feeling of regret?
A crucial first step is to schedule a day to go through your ideas and thoughts without letting anything distract you. And in this post, I am going to tell you why that day has to be next Monday.
When I was still working for a big corporation, my typical week would consist of working 9 to 9 on a big project at work and sleeping in until noon on the weekends. During the little precious free time I had, I was never in the right frame of mind to explore my other interests, let alone sign up for a course I would have to take to get any further. I was exhausted, and it was far more tempting to binge-watch an entire season of my favorite series. There are so many distractions out there that suck the mental energy needed to focus on starting something new.
I would never have gone into acting if it weren’t for the quiet and contemplative days I spent alone at the city library around the corner, drafting plans for the next years of my life. Yes, I had worked hard for several years and totally deserved to take off some time to invest in my promising future in the Arts!
For a day, I would drop everything work-related off my mind, pack my lined notebooks, head to the library, and fetch some books from the career section that among others would promise me an ‘Escape from Cubicle Nation’.
Of course, I had to get myself a Venti coffee first before I occupied a whole corner seat for myself and started fantasizing about the future.
If you have this one project in mind and want it to become reality, you have to start investing in it. And this is why you need to take off a whole day next Monday:
1. Minimize Distractions
You need a couple of hours of undivided attention. And trying to squeeze that into your busy schedule will not work (If that had worked then you would not be reading this). If you’re like most people, you’ll need some time to warm up. To get into the right mindset to dig out the ideas you have. If you only take the afternoon off, then your mind will have already been contaminated with work-related issues that are likely to distract you. Vice versa, if you take only the morning off, your mind may wander, anticipating the meetings in the afternoon.
Make this day intense enough so that you don’t immediately forget it the next week! The same problem exists if you pick another day mid-week. Friday could work. But on Friday, your mind may already have been too cluttered from whatever was going on that week. So, a lot speaks for Monday with your mind hopefully still refreshed from the weekend.
2. Make a symbolical act towards the start of something new
Monday is the most dreaded working day for most people, despite all the motivational Instagram posts that say Monday rocks. And experiencing a free Monday at a coffee shop can be liberating. So this is how it feels to have your own time on a Monday morning!
Monday is usually the day for weekly meetings, where company goals, milestones, plans are discussed. But not this Monday. This Monday is the time for you to plant the seeds for your better future. You have put in a lot of effort and time towards the growth of the company you work at. Why would you not put in at least the same amount of effort towards your plans? If you pick a day other than Monday, say Wednesday, your session is at risk. What is likely to happen is that commitments from Monday and Tuesday will have piled up. The boss or colleague rings the alarm bell and you are tempted to sacrifice your day off in favor of your duties. That’s why you should definitely make it Monday.
3. Avoid Procrastination
Put this aside for further consideration, and I bet that you will have forgotten about this blog post in no time. We get excited and passionate about things we read, but often fail to act on it. We let time pass by, the original excitement fades, and the motivation gets swept under the rug.
If this post has ignited something in you, use that spark and action on it now. Mark it in your calendar, apply for that one day leave. Really, nowadays it should only be a click away. Tell your boss now, that you need to take off next Monday. She and your colleagues will survive one day without you.