For those who dread going to work on Monday morning, you’re not alone. But, according to Ciara Conlon, you can do something about it.
Are you one of those people who hates Mondays? Do you feel the dread seeping in on Sunday evening when you know you should check to make sure you have clean clothes, something for lunch and your game face at the ready?
For many people, Mondays are not their favourite day of the week, to say the least. Mondays represent ideas of detention, or being grounded for being cheeky to your mother.
But we all have 52 of these unloved days each year so, ideally, we need to learn to love them (or at least make the most of them).
Start the week on Friday
The wisest step you can take is to start planning some time every Friday to review your week. Schedule an hour to check over the past week and ensure you have delivered on any commitments promised.
Plan out the week to come using your calendar to schedule your priorities. Use the Inbox Zero technique to process your email, planning the work to be done, deleting the unnecessary ones and filing any emails you want to hold on to for later reference.
Using this time each Friday to step back and take an overview of where you are and what your priorities are will really help to keep you feeling on top of things.
When you have a better awareness of the work you need to do and you have it planned, you can then go home for the weekend feeling more relaxed and in control.
Create a morning routine
Morning routines are the stuff of superheroes. Most successful people will boast an array of positive habits that they practise every morning to set the tone for their day.
Whether it’s meditation, yoga or a run in the park, having a morning routine that supports your physical and mental health is a wise move. Some people journal, write or read, choosing this time to create a habit that they want to nurture.
Exercise and meditation are wonderful habits to master in the morning, energising and grounding you, reducing stress, and increasing happiness and wellbeing.
The most important thing about a morning routine is to do it regardless of the time you get up. So, if one morning you start work at 7am and another at 10am, ensure you make sufficient time to fit in your routine and you will get the benefits that are abundant.
Are you playing the blame game?
When you are unhappy in your job, it is easy to blame your colleagues, your boss or the system. Before you do, take a look at your own attitude. How are you contributing to this negative environment? Do your working relationships need attention? Are you doing everything you can do to make things work?
We often expect people to think the way we do, to have the same values and needs. But, in the workplace, we all have different strengths, weaknesses, styles and needs. Some value relationships; others are focused on the task. Some are detailed and slow-paced; others are talkative and fast-paced.
We need to first understand each other and respect our differences before we start to blame others for not being like us. In a Harvard Business Review article, we are reminded that we all have a responsibility to manage our relationships at work.
It is up to each one of us to make an effort to understand our boss’ behaviours and needs, and to communicate with them in the manner that they like to receive communication.
When you understand and respect your team, you will not only improve your relationships but you may even find happiness at work.
Sunday night routine
Five minutes on a Sunday can and will make Monday a whole lot better.
Plan your clothes, food and transport. When you have this under control, your Monday morning will start in a more relaxed manner, coupled with your morning routine, and you will find that the day runs more smoothly.
Make Monday a treat day
One thing I never understood as a child was why Friday was treat day. Friday is the best day of the week, a whole two days of freedom ahead to relax and have fun. If it is already a big treat, why add in another treat and not save it for the least popular cousin, Monday?
While we all know Mondays are the day for new beginnings and getting back on track in terms of diet and exercise, that doesn’t mean that we can’t treat ourselves. Monday could be bubble bath night or movie night. It could be the night you catch up with old friends.
Start creating positive connections with the day and you will start to rewire your brain to like Mondays.
Stress and negative emotions are usually caused by our thinking about the future, hatching ideas of the negative outcomes that may arise. This irrational behaviour, unfortunately, is quite normal and is a common part of being human.
But it is important to know that you can easily take control of your thoughts. You choose every thought you have, and these thoughts create your emotions. One way to take control of your thoughts is by practising mindfulness and being present.
Keep your thoughts on your current activities; spend Sundays living in the present and let Monday look after itself. Living in the past is living with regret, living in the future is living with anxiety and living in the present is living with peace.
Right person, right role?
If you already have positive success strategies and you still find yourself miserable on a Sunday evening, maybe your job isn’t right for you.
We have all heard the expression, ‘Find a job you love and you won’t have to work a day in your life,’ and, while this isn’t always accessible to everyone, your job should not cause you stress or anxiety.
If you know you have done all you can to make it work, you need to ask yourself if you are in the right job. Lots of people find themselves in jobs that don’t suit their personality.
Compliance officers and health-and-safety engineers need to value detail. Customer experience managers should value people. If you find yourself in a job that you know doesn’t suit your personality, don’t let fear hold you back from moving on.
Work isn’t always the happiest place in the world but it should not be Bleak House and if your boss is a Gordon Gekko or a Montgomery Burns, sorry to have to break the news, but it may be time to move on.
By Ciara Conlon
Ciara Conlon is a leadership and productivity coach, and motivational speaker.