Let’s face it: Monday hits all of us sometimes. While there are many gurus, motivators and thinkers who say that if we really love our work there should be no such thing as Monday blues, for regular walking-talking folks out there work is not always the biggest draw, day in and day out. After the weekend, especially if you have a life outside of the office (which is a great thing by the way), getting back to your desk on Mondays can be bit of a drag. Mondays come with its own pitfalls: demanding bosses, deadlines, goals (some of it too abstract to make sense), swipe-ins and swipe-outs, lunch hours etc…. basically a set of rules we program ourselves to follow, but are not really keen on. With a salary staring at us from the end of the tunnel, the whole problem is harder to deal with for some of us. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if we didn’t have to fight Mondays as much as we generally have to? Here’s a quick guide to easing out the Mondays blues and welcoming the week with some semblance of joie de vivre:
If it is too bad, review what you are doing
First things first. If getting back to work on Monday pulls you down so badly that you cannot function without feeling depressed consistently, week after week, the problem is more serious than just Monday blues. It needs fixing. It is a sign that you are unhappy at work. Make a list of things that are not letting you function like yourself, and address them. If you are not yourself, you can’t function normally. This could, in really serious cases, could be a sign of depression. You need to find out what is bothering you and take proactive action to beat your blues. The usual Monday blues don’t hit you consistently. The sign of regular Monday blues is that you are aware of it. It should not cripple you. If it does, see a therapist.
Friday is a great day to make an easier Monday
Friday is the day when you should prepare for Monday, ideally before you leave office. Mondays may come with extra stress, on account of putting off work. Mondays appear scary because of files that have piled up. Try to take care of a few nagging or dreadful assignments on Friday afternoon. This will ensure that Mondays are lighter on you. It would make it easier for you to hit work without feeling weighed down on Mondays. Make that uncomfortable phone call on Friday afternoon. Don’t leave it for Monday. Leave Monday morning for that easy cup of coffee.
Go off the radar on weekends
The weekend is for unwinding. Do it in the right spirit. Be human on weekends: log out of the Internet, stop the temptation to check email, unplug and go off the radar. Unless it is a life or death situation career-wise, you must go invisible and do things that you love. Relax, rest, meet friends, go somewhere nice close by… do everything that is fun. Don’t try to find out on Sunday what’s in store for Monday. It can wait. Be a true existentialist on the weekend. Forget the office. You will find that, with time, it becomes easier to do it, making Mondays more inviting.
Count your blessings, make a list
The fact is, there is a reason why we choose a certain career. There are things you liked about your work, which is why you joined it in the first place. On Sunday evening, make a list of, say five things, that makes work exciting. Also, try to focus on how your work creates value in the lives of your clients/ consumers. Look at the big picture. Don’t focus on your salary alone. If money is the only thing you are doing your job for, Monday blues will enter your universe more easily. If there is nothing that you like about your job, the problem is far more serious than just Monday blues.
An attitude of gratitude works
Gratitude really works. There are things about your job that you need to be thankful about. It has made you the person you are right now. That is not something to overlook. Be thankful for it. An attitude of gratitude helps you see that Monday is the day when you are ready to make a little difference in the world and that will make the coming weekend even more fruitful. If you do not provide quality work, a weekend becomes an excuse, not a real time of rest.
A rested mind & body is the best pill for the blues
Sleep well and sleep early on Sundays. Nothing beats stress a new day brings like a properly rested body and mind. If you party till 4 am on Sunday morning, Monday will come a little too fast and you will feel too groggy to take on the new day earnestly. On Mondays, you need all the energy you can get. Good energy levels keep you mentally balanced. Sleep deprivation makes you irritable, and can trigger Monday blues. In fact, during the work week, getting eight hours of sleep really helps, overall. If you sleep early and wake up without an alarm turning Monday morning into a mad rush, you will be in a much better frame of mind. There is nothing like nursing a cup of coffee before you get ready for office. Give your mind and body enough “expansion” time. It is much better than squeezing coffee, bathroom, dressing up, etc. into 45 minutes so you reach office on time. So, try and wake up 45 minutes early on Monday. Remember you are not a robot. You need “me time”.
Be good to yourself, dress real sharp for Mondays
Paolo Nutuni’s song New Shoes (listen to the song HERE) is a great example of how to beat the blues. In the song, the singer says how he was feeling down and by putting on some new shoes he finds that the dark cloud has disappeared and everything is looking up. You must do the same: dress real sharp on Mondays. Look your best and you will feel your best. Be a bit narcissistic before the mirror, ensure every sartorial detail is perfect. It really helps. You will feel your charisma and magnetism.
Make a peppy playlist for the trip to office
Listen to music. It relaxes you. Make a peppy Monday playlist as per your taste and listen to it on your way to the office (it is also a good time to explore new music). It will keep your eyes off the traffic and the usual hustle bustle. This is your very own moment of meditation. It will put some verve into your walk once you reach office.
Avoid the “sad dogs” once you are in office
When you reach office, there are chances that you will meet colleagues who complain about Mondays till it is lunch time. Avoid the company of what David Ogilvy termed as “sad dogs” – there are plenty of them out there. Instead, focus on what you have to do and do it at a pace that lets you soak up the morning without feeling low. Positivity isn’t just psychobabble. It can actually work for you. Be around positive people as far as possible.
Be nice. What goes around comes around
One of the ways of feeling nice is to do something nice for somebody else. If there is a colleague who is struggling with an assignment, help her or him out with inputs that you are best at. Their job will be a bit easier and you will feel a lot better. By relieving somebody else’s Monday blues, your own blues will recede to the background. You could even pay a compliment to somebody who did something good in the past week – it will lift them up and, in turn, it will lift you up.
Clear the mess before you leave on Friday
One of the ways of making Monday easier is to to keep your desk in order, spic and span, on Friday when you leave. Keep the files or briefs that you will need first thing Monday in a cabinet or place that requires no struggle to find. Make Monday easier on Friday.
Monday should not be packed to choke level
The Monday schedule should be such that there is enough work, but not too much. Instead of keeping five business calls for the first half, keep only two. Try and do one on Friday afternoon. If you are scheduling meetings on Friday, don’t schedule everything on Monday. Space them out through the first three days of the week. Only in rare cases, things can’t wait. Otherwise the world does not change much if you do a meeting that is a “must”, on Tuesday instead of Monday. Monday should not be a day when you have to tackle complex problems right in the morning. Start with the easier work. This does not mean that you keep Monday so thin on work that you feel bored and worthless. It will make the Monday blues only more obvious.
Plan a little break with your colleagues, share stories
After the first few hours of work on Monday, try and enjoy yourself. Go have a quick chat with your work buddy. Share something funny, have a laugh together over a coffee. Do not do this with a view to waste time and to make Monday “shorter”. Monday will last as long it does, so have genuine fun. Share stories with colleagues who are feeling chatty themselves. Have a real conversation. If possible, try and organise a little coffee/ lunch break where your team hangs out together and indulges in light conversation. This not only builds team spirit but also keeps you in good spirit. Remember your co-workers are human beings like you.
Make Monday evening fun and memorable
Finally, when the day ends, instead of going back to your routine make Monday evening special with a plan with your colleagues. Go grab that drink and dinner with a friend on Monday evening post work. Don’t go pub-hopping or do such physically demanding activity. A little dinner, a drink and some conversation are what most of us are looking for on a Monday evening, or even a TV show you like. Go back home feeling fulfilled. If you have kids, Monday is a great day to hang out with them at an amusement park or some such fun place. Do things that matter in the now. Don’t use Monday evening to prepare for Tuesday evening as far as possible. Yes, Monday blues vanish when you behave more human and less robot.
If your Monday blues are such that you feel absolutely depressed and are unable to work, it is probably not Monday blues. It is something serious. You probably need to see a therapist/ psychiatrist. In such a case, you can find a good doctor on our site: www.savetime.com.