The TFD Office’s “Treat Yo Self” Monday Challenge

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When it comes to my many, many shortcomings as a Productive Boss Lady, perhaps none are more striking than my inability to be at the top of my game in the morning. As you guys know by now, I’ve never been a morning person, and if I were to operate on my ideal schedule, most of my big work would be done in the late evenings, and my sleep schedule would be something like 2 AM to 10 AM. But alas, I work on a 9-to-630-ish schedule, because that’s when most of the world works, and I want to create my business in the real world. For now, I have to bend to the will of society at large, and that means adjusting myself as much as I can to the habits and workflow of a morning person.

But no matter how much I become semi-decent at waking up at 8:15 (hey, it’s early for me!), Monday mornings will always be a huge challenge. And I know that, even for people for whom mornings are their happiest and most productive times, Mondays still bring with them a sort of general “back to the real world, and to work” malaise. None of us are immune to the Sunday Night Sads, when we stare emptily at the TV or our computer screen and feel the simultaneous urge to do nothing at all while we still can, and to pack in as much weekend-ing as possible in our last few hours. (Usually this all gets overridden by Game of Thrones, no matter what our plans were.)

In any case, Monday mornings are a time when everyone is at their worst in terms of overall joie de vivre and energy. I mean, I know there are some people who get really fucking hype at the idea of “attacking a new week” — and those people generally make up the insufferably chipper community known as #MorningTwitter — but I’m not talking to them. I think that you can be proud and dedicated to what you do, and want to do a wonderful job with your new week, and still feel a little bummed about the weekend being over. It says nothing about you, and everything about how crappy Mondays can be,

So, in an effort to counteract that, we’ve been doing a little bit of a Monday Morning Challenge in the TFD office, where we do different things on Mondays specifically to make things feel nice, calm, and like its own little treat (to counteract the overall ugh-ness). For a while, I was doing a little “Monday Meditation” thing where the lights in the office were low, candles were lit, rain sounds and soft jazz were playing, and an extra-special coffee was prepared. Something about easing into the transition of a work week accompanied by softness and warm light and music made it feel a lot more doable.

And this past week, partially because Maya was about to leave us to head back to the West Coast, and partially because, ugh, Mondays, we decided to up our game for the Challenge. On Sunday evening, I baked off this cinnamon roll cake that I found while browsing for delicious breakfasts, and the three of us glazed and photographed it before work started on Monday morning while we brewed coffee and tea and just generally kind of talked for a bit, instead of rushing to our desks and frantically typing, as one usually does on those mornings.

The cake was/is absolutely delicious (and you can freeze and thaw portioned pieces of it to defrost and glaze whenever you want, which is awesome), but more than that, the ritual of the whole thing was really wonderful. Treating yourself to something special on a Monday morning — whatever that thing is for you — is a perfect way to extend the spirit of the weekend, and spend a bit more quality time with yourself and your work team. We’ll be doing something each Monday and, when we stumble across something great, we’ll be sharing it here with you.

And we encourage you to take your own Monday Morning Challenge, and set aside a little time on Sunday night and beyond to prepare something specifically for the next day, to look forward to and feel great about. Tell us what you decide to do — or maybe what you’re already doing! — in the comments.

And in the meantime, enjoy the hell out of these amazing cinnamon roll cake photos, and seriously, try it at home! It’s amazing.

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Happy Mondays!

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  • Sindhoo

    This is the third time today I’ve come back to this article to stare at the pictures. Looks phenomenal.

  • Jenn

    Making this right now, and my kitchen smells unreal! Thanks for sharing.

  • jdub

    Ho. Ly. Shit.