Monday Motivation: Tips on Preparing for Back to School

By Loralyn Mears PhD Loralyn Mears PhD has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on August 31, 2020

Monday motivation, we need it, stat! Apparently many of us are now suffering from “decision fatigue” and getting overwhelmed by so many things to consider day after day. Here’s a pick-me-up to launch your week on the right foot. Studies show that your morning mood affects your productivity all day. Grit Daily is here to get your work week off to a good start. Pump your fists – it’s time for Monday motivation!

It’s that time of year …

Not quite that time of year that we’ve been accustomed to our whole lives. No, there’s an eerie new normal that overwhelming many of us, creating decision fatigue, crippling our prioritization abilities and rendering us emotionally drained at the end of each day. That’s adding to our stress. Because, of course, we all needed One. More. Thing. We now have to prepare for back to school, to make adjustment for childcare, our jobs, how our children will learn and how we’ll manage everything and everyone on our plates. Monday motivation today is unpacking all that we’re feeling.

Hand-sanitizer, check. Multiple masks? Check. Crazy schedules with hybrid learning and children sometimes in the classroom and sometimes, not. Ready. School sports and playdates? Suspended altogether or at least postponed for the interim. It’s a lot to gear up for and so much more involved that the typical buy a new backpack, water bottle, pencil case, binders, first day of school outfit and so on. Suddenly, it’s become this really big thing that eclipses the simplicity of back to school.

Can you believe that tomorrow is September 1st? There’s something about that date that strikes at our core; it marks the unofficial end of summer. We can choose to be saddened and impacted by that or look at the opportunity for a fresh start, a new year, albeit an academic one but a new chance to experiment with different things. Let’s use the date as a milestone marker that is more positive than simply marking time around how long the pandemic has been wreaking havoc.

Monday motivation tips to prepare for Back to School

For those of us without children, we may be teaching or offering other services designed to support working parents. Either way, stress is rising so today’s Monday motivation column is dedicated to preparation tips for back to school. As it is the case for so many things, a plan to track to can make all the difference and keep us from feeling totally frenetic.

#1 – set up the night before

After you (or your child) has eaten dinner and before you begin winding down for the night, look at what is on tomorrow’s calendar. Is it an in-person day? What are you going to wear? Lay it out. What time is the first online event? The last? What preparation work needs to be done now, or early in the morning, in order to be ready for the day’s events and initiatives? If you’re home schooling, create a schedule and stick to it.

“Plan your work and work your plan.” ~Napoleon Hill

Make that calendar clear to all who need to see it including blocked out “Do Not Disturb” times. Consider having the calendar visible in a centralized location or grant everyone shared access digitally. As a household, review all of tomorrow’s activities for each member of the household – do this together after you finish dinner.

#2 – the daily wrap

Conversations are going to be challenged and we’re all going to have to be more creative than asking the perfunctory, “How was school today?” With children attending classes online, there isn’t going to be much variety or excitement in what they’ll be exposed to day-to-day. Make the daily wrap a dinner tradition and make it fun.

Give everyone the chance to speak and share what was cool about their day and what was not so cool. Then ask questions like who had the worst bedhead? The best outfit? Did anyone get caught sleeping on screen? What was the most interesting thing you learned today? And make it so that everyone has to answer, not just the children in school but the adults as well who can comment (in general) about work themes and what was learned, what was good, what was challenging and so on. Monday motivation themes here get expanded to self-confidence, communication, relationship-building and other soft skills with this tip.

#3 – buy a handbag or backpack organizer

You’ve seen them before – they are compartmentalized fabric “buckets” designed to carry cell phones, earbuds, tissues, hand-sanitizer, pens, lip balm and all sorts of other goodies. They can be a lifesaver on busy mornings when everyone is scrambling. Stock the organizer with the essentials like a clean facemask and other necessities in today’s pandemic reality. Every Sunday, make a point of restocking the organizer so that everyone has exactly what they need to get through the week. These days, planning for health and safety is critically important.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ~Benjamin Franklin

Extra bits of Monday motivation

If you like podcasts, well, wouldn’t you know, we’ve got those, too! Three of them, in fact: 1) Like a Boss with snappy insights; 2) wine down and chill; and 3) Monday motivation. All three are available on all streaming channels including Apple, iHeart Radio, Spotify and more. Tune in! Finally, if you like my writing, check out my new novel, The Battle for Humanity, it’s a thriller you won’t be able to put down.

Podcast person? Check us out!

Have a fabulous week!

Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels


By Loralyn Mears PhD Loralyn Mears PhD has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Journalist verified by Muck Rack verified

Dr. Loralyn Mears is a Columnist at Grit Daily and a podcast host (The Grit Files, which aims to shine the spotlight on female founders). She is a content marketer, founder of the WORKtech startup, STEERus, specializing in personal and professional development to address gaps in soft skills - communication in particular. In her consultancy practice, she helps clients with content and strategy. Loralyn spent over a decade playing with mosquito DNA, got her PhD, decided she would rather market science than be at the bench and has never looked back. Along the way, she’s wined and dined her way around the globe. She's authored two books, including the 2018 Gold Medal Indie Book award-winning, One Sip At a Time: a Memoir and the hard science thriller, "The Battle for Humanity: How Science Saved Us." 

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