In this episode, Megan shares five practical ideas to alleviate the stress and overwhelm often associated with Mondays in order to make the start of our week more manageable and fulfilling.

Planning can make a notable difference to the start of your week. The better you prepare for what you have to do on a Monday, the better you will feel. In this episode, Megan explains how she prepares for Mondays in order to set a positive tone for the week ahead. 

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

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  • The 15 Minute Friday Plan: Plan ahead by dedicating just 15 minutes on Friday to map out your upcoming week. By scheduling downtime and aligning tasks with your goals, you can reduce mental clutter and increase productivity.
  • The One Hour Friday To-Do List Tackle: Allocate one hour on Friday or Saturday to tackle small tasks from your to-do list for the following week to minimize Monday morning stress and set yourself up for a smoother week.
  • Inbox Zero: Dedicate time on the weekend to clear out your inbox. By organizing emails into folders and archiving non-essential items, you can start Monday with a clean slate and reduce mental clutter.
  • Tidy Up: Declutter and tidy up your physical environment. By maintaining order in your surroundings you can positively impact your mindset and productivity on Monday mornings.
  • Plan and Protect the Monday Morning Routine: Establishing and sticking to a morning routine sets the tone for a successful week. Remember to prioritize sleep, visualize your morning routine, and set intentions before bed to ensure a smooth start to Monday.

Resources Mentioned

Food Photography by Kristina Cadelina

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Click for script.

EBT517 – 5 Ideas for Making Mondays Easier

Intro  00:01

Hey food bloggers. Thank you so much for joining me in this mindset and self-care focused episode here on Eat Blog Talk. One of the reasons I started a blog talk was to hold a space to talk about the importance of mindset and self-care. Being an entrepreneur can be a lot. If we are not taking care of ourselves, then getting actionable information about SEO Pinterest or whatever else is all moot. I will meet you back here every Wednesday to discuss various mindset and self-care topics. So you have the energy and space to tackle the rest.

Sponsor (Kristina Cadelina)  00:34

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Megan Porta  01:39

Hello, awesome food bloggers welcome to another mindset and self-care focused episode here on Eat Blog Talk. I would like to say just hear that I hope nobody thinks that I feel like I’m perfect or even close to perfect with all of the mindset topics that I talk about. I think the total opposite I’m just a flawed human showing up here. I’m in constant pursuit of bettering myself. And I just want to share my experiments because that’s how I see them as constant experiments in this area with you in hopes that you are inspired to better yourself in certain ways. Also, I never want to come across as better than you at all. Because I’m not just putting that out there. I had the thought this week to say that. In today’s episode, we are going to talk about five ideas for making Monday easier. Mondays are my least favorite day of the week. I’d love to hear if they are your least favorite too. I assume that most people agree with that. But maybe not. Maybe you have another least favorite day. Or maybe you have no least favorite days that would be amazing. 

Megan Porta  02:51

I am really good at protecting my evenings. I’m really good at protecting my weekends, which means that I often push a lot of things to Monday. And this means that things can seriously build up and make Monday’s super overwhelming. Very stressful. And even before they start, I’ve noticed that I’ve started dreading Mondays before they begin. A few Monday’s ago, this was, I don’t know, a month and a half back. I had a Monday that was just the worst. It was the biggest energy drain for me. At the end of the day. I felt like I was about to die. And that is no exaggeration. I literally crawled in bed and my head hurt. I felt like I was going to explode. As always, when I feel like this. I know to go to my calendar and see what was happening that day or that week to make me feel this way. So I did that. And I discovered that that particular day I had scheduled and showed up to seven different calls in a five hour period. And these calls were on all different topics about all different projects requiring me to tap into different flows of energy and resources and knowledge and all of that. And on top of those calls. I threw in all of this other stuff that I was working on. I had completed an Instagram reel that day, I had finished an update for my blog, and a few other little tasks that when I looked at my calendar, I couldn’t believe I had squeezed in so much based on the way that I had felt at the end of the day I asked myself, was this really worth it? 100% the answer to that was, No, no, no, no, no, it wasn’t not worth it. It felt awful. I never want to feel that way again, then I thought there has to be a better way. Because I believe there’s always a better way to make things easier and to make things better in some way. So I started experimenting, because I love experimenting. 

Megan Porta  04:32

And all the things I talked about in this episode are things that I have tried since or was experimenting with before. And that have also helped me to make Monday less stressful, less chaotic, less depleting less fill in the blank with the negative feeling or emotion. So I recommend for you start by experimenting with number one and add others when you’re ready. Let’s talk through five ideas for making Monday easier. Number one, the 15 Minute Friday plan. I know I’m totally a broken record when it comes to this topic. But planning is one of the most important things you can do. When you’re running a food blogging business or a complicated entrepreneurial business like ours. Our businesses are not simple. They have a lot of moving parts. They involve a lot of projects and tasks and managing people. And I won’t even get started with lists because as you know, I could go on and on and on. Staying focused on your goals. When running a business like this is supremely important. You have to make sure that you’re on track with your goals, you have to make sure that your tasks are aligning with your goals every single week. This not only helps to move you towards your goals, whatever they are, but it helps to decrease mental clutter. And it also increases your productivity. In my opinion, goals and planning go hand in hand, knowing what your goals are keeps you moving in the right direction. And you have to have a plan in place in order to do that. So a piece of that is weekly planning weekly planning is so important. We all know that feeling of going into a week and having absolutely no idea what we’re going to work on. And what happens those weeks we get nothing done. We feel like we’re flailing we feel aimless. We’re like deer in the headlights, we don’t know what to do next. It’s not a good feeling. So we need to stop flailing and we need to make a plan in order to make Monday easier. Therefore making your entire week easier. Literally 15 minutes is all it takes. 

Megan Porta  07:04

So I recommend on Friday that you do the following. Sit down and open up your calendar for the following week. And you are just going to assess it. First you’ll block out your downtime, do this around any calls or scheduled interviews, activities events that you already have on your calendar. Once you have your downtime established, then you can plan your work, you might want to start with how many hours you’re able to work, maybe you have kids in school and you know you have a chunk of time each day to sit down and work. And you need to block that out. With that blocked out work time you start filling in the gaps with tasks that align with your goals that need to get completed that week. Think about what needs to get done with work next week that aligns with all of your goals. That is what should go onto your calendar. Fill it all in once your calendar is filled in, then I recommend either writing out or typing out in your document or app of choice any specific task you need to do in order to get everything done on your calendar. Get as specific as you can with this. I personally like to handwrite my to do list every week before it starts in my notebook. An example is if I have in my calendar update two recipes on the blog, in my notebook for my to do list. All right, exactly which recipes I’m updating and which day of the week I plan to do that. For me, my calendar is a place to do time blocking and to assign overarching projects. And my to do list is separate. And it’s a place where I can write out really specific tasks that align with all the projects. Once you have your list written out, I like to categorize my to do list so I have all of my work tasks. I also have a section for personal things. So if I have personal calls or appointments that I need to make, I write those out to really specifically, there are a few projects that I’m working on right now that are taking up a lot of bandwidth. So I have separate sections for those where I write out to do lists underneath. And I even currently have a section for things to talk to my assistant about. So your list is going to be unique. It’s not going to be like mine. Just use your intuition as you write it out and it’ll flow naturally once you get into it. Okay, now once you have this list written out this is going to feel really good. Now I want you to open your goals for the year because I assume you have your one year goals written out. If not I highly recommend doing this personally it really helps me to stay on track. With my year with my quarter with my weeks with my days. It keeps me highly focused list. 

Megan Porta  10:00

So if you have this document, great, open it up, see if anything pops out that can be added to next week’s to do list. Here’s an example of something that I saw on my one year goals sheet today, because I’m recording this on Friday that I put on my to do list for next week. On my one year goals, I had weekly quality time with Dan, that’s my husband. As I read it, I was like, yes, we need to do that next week, because it’s been a few weeks. So I put it on my to do list as make dinner reservations for next week. There’s no rhyme or reason for this one. For me, I just review my one year goals. And if something intuitively pops out at me, I run with it. And I put it on my to do list for the following week. Some other categories you can think through as you’re writing your to do list for the next week are personal tasks, like I mentioned, scheduling appointments, things to outsource things to listen to things to read, just to give you a few ideas. Once you’ve got your to do list altogether, review everything. Take a good look at your calendar that you have set for the week and take a good look at your to do list. Get it in your mind, so you have a mental handle on the week before it even begins. This is going to take so much off your plate come Monday, I promise both logistically and mentally. Your plan is set come Monday morning. Now you just have to implement. 

Megan Porta  10:35

Number two, the one hour Friday to do list to tackle. I don’t know about you. But most Monday mornings, I find that I’m faced with all of these little tedious tasks that I have to get done by the end of the day. Those tedious tasks totally add to that frazzled feeling of it being Monday and having other things on my calendar that I know I have to show up for. The just don’t help with my mindset at all. When I have a lot of those tedious tasks, it can be so much for me mentally, not just with finding the time to get it all done. But adding to that mental clutter before I’m even really into the week, which feels defeating and the week has barely begun. So I’ve been experimenting with the Friday to do list tackle. This has been working magic for me, I hope that it really works for you too. So after you do your 15 Minute Friday planning, set aside one hour on Friday, or Saturday to tackle those small to do list items that you have on your list for the following week. Some of those items for me have been things like writing and scheduling my Monday email. This takes me about 20 minutes. So I can knock it out really quickly. Creating and scheduling an Instagram reel, scheduling a personal appointment that’s on the list for the following week. Starting an outline for a podcast episode, replying to Instagram comments or DMS, little things like that. If you don’t know where to start with this, scan your to do list for the following week and either pull out tasks that you know you won’t want to start next week. Or pull out tasks that you know will take 15 minutes or less to complete set a one hour timer or maybe 2x 30 minute timers. And sit down with the intention of getting as much knocked off your list as you possibly can. And just do the work, do it knowing that come Monday, things are going to be so much easier and that is going to make your entire workweek easier. 

Megan Porta  13:29

Number three, Inbox Zero. An overloaded email inbox for me adds massively to my mental clutter. So big time. What I’ve been doing is on Saturday or Sunday, every weekend, I’ve been setting aside time just to go through my email, nothing else. Email only. I go into my inbox with the intention of sweeping through it as best I can. The good thing about doing this on a Saturday or Sunday is that there’s no one to email me back. Usually on a weekend, which is good because my goal is to get rid of all the emails for now anyway. And yes, this means that I’m working on a weekend technically, but it’s only an hour. And it’s done with such a different vibe. At least for me. It’s done with the intention of proactively relieving stress and saving my sanity come Monday. I like to do this when I know my family is busy. Or when the weather’s bad. I know I can’t be outside enjoying that. If you do this too, do not plan it during a time when you feel like you’re missing out on something because that is going to make you feel icky. When possible, plan as much as you can in advance, just so you don’t feel bad about working on a weekend. And again, when you sit down to do this, you’re not doing any other work. No other tabs are open. You are just going through your email and that is it. You will be super productive. You’re gonna get it all cleaned out and it’s good feel great. Since my IRS audit began, I have found that I’ve been much more organized in my business, I’ve been trying to keep track of absolutely every receipt, invoice email that comes through because I’m paying the price for not doing that in previous years, there are a handful of emails that they’ve requested documentation of that I just don’t have. And that sucks, because there’s no way I can get them. So my husband being the organized email soul that he is, has been coaching me a little bit on just how to be more organized in my email. And that really helps with this whole inbox zero concept. Because not everything has to sit right in my inbox. One of the things I’ve been doing is filtering emails, specific emails that come into my inbox that have certain keywords, or maybe certain subjects can go right into folders that I have predetermined outside of my inbox, that has been a game changer. Another thing I’ve been doing that I was not doing prior to my audit, to my husband’s dismay, was archiving emails. Did you guys know about this, I had no idea, which is another embarrassment. But since this has all gone down, I’m seeing the importance of archiving basically everything except for junk, there’s a little button at the top of your Gmail account, if you click on the email, it’s a box with a little checkmark inside of it. That is the archive button. If you think that there’s any chance that you might want to save an email in the future, archive those emails, you will be happy if you get audited, trust me, something else I’ve been doing to keep my inbox clean is I created two folders inside of my labels section inside of Gmail that I move emails too, as they come in, those two folders are Invoices to Pay and respond by the end of the week. If an invoice comes in then I need to pay I don’t need to do it that moment. There’s usually at least a week grace period for that. So I try to do them all at once. And I simply move the emails into that label unread so that it remains bolded. So I remember to pay them every week. The other one respond by the end of the week, if there’s an email that I just can’t respond to now at the time of reading it, but I know I need to respond within a week’s time I move it into that label. By doing this, my inbox can be at zero when there are still things that need to be attended to inside of my email. And come Monday morning, massive relief. 

Megan Porta  17:43

Number four, tidy up. The power of this one really surprised me. Which in itself was kind of surprising because I know there’s power in decluttering and tidying up. But when it came to starting Monday, this had a huge impact on the way I felt to start the day. I just started experimenting with this one very recently. So this is probably the most exciting one for me to talk about. It doesn’t seem like there would be a correlation between tidying up things in your life and the way you feel on Monday morning, but there totally is. And by tidying, I’m referring to decluttering or even cleaning certain things in your physical world, removing physical clutter from my life has opened up a lot of mental space for me to tackle Monday with ease. I’ll talk through a few examples. And these are things that I’ve been doing that have really helped me having laundry done folded and put away on Sunday evening. So nobody is asking for clean clothes on Monday morning. Oh my gosh, how many times has this happened to me, and it stresses me out every time having my kitchen counter clean on Monday morning, getting a handle on groceries over the weekend. And even getting any meal prep ready that I need to I’m not a big meal prepper but getting little tiny things ready can go a long way. Having my workspace tidy sometimes I will come down to my office and just make sure it’s all clean. There’s no clutter. I don’t have crumpled up post-its or anything that doesn’t need to be in my vision here at my workspace. To go back to the grocery thing and just having your fridge or your freezer cleaned out. I don’t mean like deep cleaned but having the clutter that you don’t need out of the way or in the garbage. There is nothing like opening a clean, organized fridge on Monday morning. Something that builds up in our house is recycling. We have a little bag or a couple of bags that we put our recycling into that needs to be taken out. So I’ve been making sure that those are all taken out Sunday night so it’s all fresh and clean Monday morning. This one is huge for us having our family calendar set for the week. So all of our appointments, all of the boys’ activities, anything that my husband and I have going on outside of work on the family calendar on display, so we have a mental handle on that. Dishes are a big one for me too. I like to have a very clean sink. And bonus is having a dishwasher that’s clean and put away. If I do sit down to evaluate my workspace, I’ll also go on to my computer desktop and just do a little cleaning there so that when I open my computer on Monday, it’s not like an eyeful filled with documents and other clutter. If there’s any space in your home, or around your home that just drives you nuts when it’s not clean. That’s probably where you should focus, clean it before Monday starts. And you don’t have to spend a ton of time on this. If you need to set a timer for yourself just to get as much tidying done as possible. Maybe it’s 15 minutes, maybe it’s an hour, do that and do as much as you can. Maybe for you it’s having a clean bathroom would make you feel really good to start the week, or having an organized pantry. It’s going to be different for all of us. When you get it done. Monday is going to feel dreamy, or something like that. 

Megan Porta  21:12

Number five, plan and protect the Monday morning routine. You all know how I feel about establishing and keeping a morning routine and sticking to it no matter what Mondays are the most important time to set that morning routine tone for the week ahead. When I am delinquent with my Monday morning routine, the entire rest of my week, may as well fly out the window when it comes to taking care of myself and just being consistent with that. So first, I would say just have that awareness that this is really important. You’re going to want to set yourself up for success with morning routines and do whatever you can to mentally and logistically orepare yourself for the most successful morning routine possible to start your week. Some ideas for you, you can set out your workout clothes or shoes. Have a plan in your mind about what you are going to do for your routine. Think out those specific things you want to squeeze in. Know what time you are sitting down for work exactly the time Have that in mind. Your entire agenda should be firm in your head. Take the time to sit down for two minutes on Sunday night and visualize it. See yourself taking your dog for a walk. See yourself working out, writing in your gratitude journal, taking a shower, doing whatever else you need to do, and then sitting down to start work. And of course this goes without saying prioritize sleep, especially on Sunday night. Early bedtime if possible limit junk including TV, social media, phone scrolling, as well as junk food obviously. And before bed, talk to your subconscious. This is so powerful and something that we overlook that can really change our day ahead. Before bed tell your subconscious what you expect for the following morning and day. What are your intentions. Again, do a quick visualization of your entire morning routine and the way you’re going to set a good tone to start your day. See yourself sitting down to work with no stress and ready to tackle the week. Okay, that’s all I’ve got for you. I hope these stirred up some great ideas for ways that you can make Monday easier. So let’s talk through the five ideas that I brought to the table today. Number one, the 15 Minute Friday plan. Two, the one hour Friday to do lists tackle. Three Inbox Zero. Four, tidy up and five plan and protect the Monday morning routine. Like I said earlier in the episode, you don’t have to do all of this. Anything you can do to set yourself up for a successful stress free Monday is going to not only make Monday easier, but it’s going to make the entire rest of the week easier. Also, everything I talked about requires intention. So be intentional with your planning, you’re working, you’re tidying up and I promise Monday’s will be so much less stressful. You’ve got this I’d love to hear how this one landed for you reach out anytime I always love hearing from you guys. Thank you so much for listening food bloggers. I will see you next week.

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