For those that work a standard Monday through Friday shift, getting up and motivated on Monday morning can be a challenge. It marks the start of another week of the grind through earning another paycheck. However, the Monday blues is simply a state of mind. If you can get past that, you’re golden! This article will cover some concepts on how to tackle those Monday blues; and for anyone that doesn’t have weekends off, whatever the start of your work week may be.
Set Milestones at Work
Life isn’t a race, it’s a marathon. Like managing a project, when you set milestones, you can get a sense of accomplishment. This also ensures that you remain productive! If you know you have routine tasks, then set a stretch target of accomplishing more than you typically do. Not only will it put you in a better position for the week (maybe even give you a break on Friday), but it will impress your manager. There are instances where the old saying “an idle mind is the devil’s playground” can be true; don’t let it impact your work or life. So, keep your mind engaged.
Make the Most of Your Time and Take Breaks
Being a work-a-holic doesn’t get you a badge of honor. On the contrary, it could make you look crazy. Keep active throughout the day, but not too active. If you have any time between meetings, take advantage of it to knock out some action items. The key is to not let too much time lapse without some activities planned. This can make the day drag on for what may seem infinity! While some people may want to work through lunch because they feel they are more productive, it’s a good idea to take a breather and get out of the building; even if it’s just for a few minutes. This will help break the day up and leave just a few hours remaining for the work day. There are plenty of studies that indicate that not taking regular breaks leads to being less efficient. Check this article out for additional information.
“Enjoy this moment, for this moment is your life”
Start the Day with Something You Enjoy
It could be listening to your favorite playlist, eating your favorite food, working out, or anything else you may look forward to. Start your day with it! Speaking of food, as mentioned in many different studies, don’t skip out on breakfast. The myth about it being the most important meal of the day is true. It’s an essential part of kick starting your body and mind. With all the stress and challenges that can come with a career, why not introduce some of your favorite activities into the mix? If you start your day on a positive note, chances are you will end on one as well. If you’re really ambitious, see the next suggestion by filling up your evening with an activity as well.
Plan Some Evening Activities
Nothing helps getting through a long day of work like having something to look forward to when you reach the finish line. Whether it’s a nice dinner out with a friend or significant other, time with the kids, or any other evening activities, plan it! If you don’t get out much during weeknights, check your local papers and venues. You will find that many places host activities to drive traffic to businesses. You will find hidden gems such as dollar burger night, two for one happy hours, free appetizers and more. If you don’t want to spend any money, there are plenty of free options as well such as local concerts, art shows, etc. You may be a bit worn out by the time you get home, but one thing is for sure – you won’t say you wasted the day.
Don’t Feed into Negative Vibes
As many say, negativity can spread like a disease in an office, and it can influence the morale quickly. The “water cooler” talk can make or break the attitude of employees as they gather to converse. Unfortunately, most the time it’s a story about other employees/managers or something else that is negative. Stay away from this!! Do not allow others to negatively influence your day. Try changing the topic by finding something positive to talk about such as what they did over the weekend, how the family is or what they have planned for the following weekend. If they persist on negative discussions, politely walk away and advise them that you have some work to finish. This will not only help you keep a positive attitude for the day, but will also prevent you from being associated with the office gossip sources; and yes…most have a reputation (not a good one) if they are consistent!
“Work hard, have fun and make history”
– Jeff Bezos
Find Enjoyment in What You Do
Once upon a time, you were excited for the job opportunity you have. That may have been many years ago, or just a short few months. What was it that attracted you to it? If things have changed, is there something you can influence to make it better? While it is reality that many of us don’t truly “love” what we do, there should at least be some elements of your work that you enjoy. If not, it may be time to look for another opportunity.
Work to Live, Don’t Live to Work
Some individuals get so wrapped up in work that they forget to enjoy life. It’s incredibly easy to allow this to happen if you don’t pause and think about what you really want to get out of life. While working is necessary for most of the population, it shouldn’t be your purpose for existing. Work to provide a better life for your family, to secure your retirement or to even take a few vacations and check some destinations off your bucket list. Those who allow their work and life balance to get out of whack can find themselves in a treacherous place. If you happen to be in a job that doesn’t allow this, then consider your career path, and what you’re willing to sacrifice. Who knows…it may be time for a change!
Avoid the Snooze Button
Just like accepting the challenge of a competition, you should accept the challenge of conquering Monday. At the end of the day, there’s nothing different from Monday than any other day of the week other than being the first day. Treat it as such! When the alarm goes off, avoid hitting the snooze button at all expense. Get up and start the day. There’s plenty to accomplish.
Appreciate What Your Hard Work Has Earned You
As time goes on, and you reflect on your career, realize the fruits of your labor. Whether it’s enabling you to purchase your first home, pay off your existing one, purchase your favorite car, pay for tuition, or anything else, realize there is a tangible output for your efforts. Monday kicks off another opportunity to move further toward your goals. Take full advantage of this opportunity and identify the next thing to focus on. Consider the concept of a vision board. In case you haven’t heard of these, they are simple board where you can write or place pictures of the things you’d like to accomplish in increments of time (months, years, etc). To learn more about these, check this site out.
Leverage Monday (or your week’s start) as an Opportunity to Shine
It’s Monday morning, and everyone is crowded around the coffee machine rubbing their eyes and straightening out their hair. They are at work physically, but mentally, they have a few hours to go. Don’t be like them! Show your manager that you came to work to be productive and successful. Most managers (assuming they are good at what they do) will recognize which employees make an honest effort to excel. These employees don’t have bad days, or rough mornings; they are consistent. Be one of those employees instead.
Change Your Perception of the Work You Do
This one sounds much easier than it is. If it were easy, we’d live in a Utopian world. Unfortunately, that isn’t reality. However, you do have direct control of your view of work. Even if your job isn’t full of recognition, bonuses and personal fulfillment, you can find value in your contributions. Most positions boil down to one of two things, or potentially both – a service and/or product. In any event, there is a benefit to them; whether it’s making lives easier, saving lives, enhancing technology or something else. How do you contribute to the improvement of society? Even if you don’t think you are on the surface, digging in a bit further, you will find that you serve an essential purpose somewhere.
Evaluate Your Career, and Don’t Be Afraid to Make Changes
If you dread Mondays, it may be due to feeling that your career has become stagnant or lacks purpose any longer. If this is the case, don’t be afraid to see what other opportunities are out there. Some individuals may become complacent because of the sense of security that is coupled with having significant tenure with a company. Some may fear that they aren’t marketable and don’t want to jump into the candidate pool with millions of others. Unless you’re just a few years from a secure retirement, it’s never too late to make changes. There is only one absolute if you make yourself invisible to other opportunities – you will not be offered anything new. SuperCareer is an excellent resource to assist you in this journey!
Next time the alarm sounds after your weekend has concluded, don’t hide under the covers….don’t hit the snooze…and don’t dread getting out of bed. Monday is a fresh start to the week for you to take advantage of. Hop in the shower and start thinking about how you’re going to be productive and make a difference. It creates a win-win situation for both you and your employer. Take full advantage of your time off, including a mental and/or physical break where needed, and don’t dwell on past events. Focusing on what you can change starting today will help you focus on the controllable. If there is anything that is outside of your control, don’t allow it to bother you. Easier said than done, but if you continue to work on it, it will be easier for you to prove the concept of mind over matter. Your time is precious, so it is to your benefit to spend it as wisely as possible to ensure you have a sense of fulfillment. Slowly, you will find yourself no longer saying “Ugh…it’s Monday” and will find yourself saying “It’s Monday!”.