I hate Mondays.
Well, actually I don’t really, but I know that a lot of people do.
Do you think Mondays suck?
When people say they hate Mondays, what is it they are really saying?
Do they hate their jobs?
Do they hate the commute?
Do they hate the contrast between the freedom they have on the weekend compared to the dictated activities they have to perform during the rest of the week?
Do they hate that fact they are not in control of their own lives?
It could be any number and combination of these.
Whatever the reasons, Mondays can be a huge mental barrier for many of us and can incite feelings of dread, depression, anxiety, loathing and tiredness.
And sometimes that hangover from Sunday morning is somehow still lingering, which isn’t going to help matters.
Starting your week with such negative feelings can have a massive impact on productivity, but managing your time well can go a long way towards helping overcome this feeling.
Consider also that negativity can be contagious in the workplace. So, if one person is a grumpy wotsit on a Monday morning, it can easily spread across the whole team.
So, how can we fix it?
Let start by making it clear that Monday morning blues are a myth.
Dreading the start of the week is simply a habit of negativity that we perpetuate amongst ourselves.
We’ve all been conditioned to do it since childhood.
“Ugh, I hate Mondays.”
It’s just a thing that people say.
But our thoughts determine our reality.
You can choose how to approach the start of the week – it is all a mindset. And starting the week in a positive frame of mind can become a habit.
Here are twenty things you can do to prove it!
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”Winston Churchill
1. Start with some big tasks
In the same way that your mornings should set the stage for a productive day, your Mondays should be the same productivity catalyst for your week.
Attacking a high-value task that you would otherwise put off will create some satisfaction and help to build momentum for the rest of the day. Then use that momentum to get in some quick wins.
This is the “Eat That Frog” philosophy, which advocates getting your biggest and most difficult task of the day out of the way first, it follows that your biggest tasks of the week should be attacked at the beginning of the week too, i.e. on Monday.
Check out this post: Eat That Frog! Book Review >>>
2. Get some clarity
Ask yourself exactly what it is you don’t like about Mondays and possibly, your job.
~ Is it your co-workers?
~ A bully boss?
~ Nit-picking clients?
~ The actual work itself?
~ Why do you do this job – for the money, as a stepping stone to something else?
~ Does your work inspire you?
~ Are you helping others?
Identify the cause and the ask yourself what action you can take to improve things. Sometimes problems with co-workers, work environments and cultures can be changed.
Sometimes they can’t.
Ultimately, if you hate your job so much that you’re filled with dread every Sunday evening, then you need to stop whinging about it and start thinking about changing something. (See #20 below)
3. Solid evening routine
Winding down well and going to bed earlier on Sunday night can help you get a better night’s sleep and feel ready for battle on Monday morning.
Related: Tips For Productive Evening Routines >>>
4. Get up earlier
I always find the early morning a very special time. It is quiet and there is a certain energy about it. It gives me a chance to contemplate the day ahead and start the day with some exercise before I take anything else.
Getting ups earlier also ensures a more relaxed routine. No rushing. No panicking about being late.
Check out more: Tips For A Great Morning Routine >>>
5. Do not hit snooze
Hitting snooze is a big mistake and there are studies showing evidence of this. Failing to get out of bed when the alarm goes off and drifting back to sleep will upset your sleep cycle and can even affect your energy levels for the rest of the day.
Check out this post: How To Beat The Snooze Button >>>
6. Prepare your week in advance
Preparation is often key to success in anything.
Get used to scheduling your week on a Sunday evening.
Knowing what you have lined up for the week and having everything scheduled and your tasks prioritized means you can hit the ground running, rather than having to faff about on Monday morning working out what you need to be doing.
7. Lighten the mood
In some workplaces, it might be appropriate to arrange some form of team game or other activity to get the week started.
I’ve seen all sorts of things from quizzes to inter-office push-up challenges and presentations on hobbies and passions, to name a few.
Whilst this in itself isn’t usually very productive, it can help to build better relationships in the office and make Monday mornings more enjoyable.
8. Drink (lemon) water
I love my coffee. I mean, really love it.
But I have found that drinking hot/warm lemon water can have quite an energizing effect on me in the mornings. I tend to drink that first and put off my first cup of coffee until late morning, which works well for me.
Give it a try. No harm, eh? Well, unless you’re allergic to lemons, I suppose . . .
9. Ditch morning meetings
Monday mornings are typically used for team meetings. From experience, they are often very unproductive and just pointless “Rah-Rah meetings” that only serve to delay getting stuck into the stuff that is actually meaningful.
If you think there might be better ways to communicate whatever messages are delivered during your Monday morning meetings, bring it up with your team and/or superiors and get things changed.
10. Dress to impress
Looking and smelling good is a great way to boost your mood and your confidence.
Go all out to look great on Mondays and feel a spring in your step when you go to work.
Not hugely into affirmations myself, but I have friends that swear by them. Try them out for yourself and see if they have any impact.
12. Avoid distractions
One of the biggest distractions in an office environment is email and the worst way to start you Monday is probably to deal with your Inbox. This means you’re starting the day reactively, reacting to problems and dealing with low-value tasks.
Eat a frog instead.
Check out this post: Eat That Frog! Book Review >>>
13. Use a To-Do list
If you’re not using some form of To-Do list, maybe now is time you started. A To-Do List is a fundamental part of good time management. And more importantly, one that starts with tasks to do on a Monday morning, so you have a reason to get going straight away.
Read more: How To Write A To-Do List – Properly! >>>
14. Dangle a carrot
Bribe yourself and set a reward for yourself for completing your Monday tasks. Nothing wrong with a little incentive.
15. Schedule something special
Use Mondays for lunch dates with friends or an evening activity or simply a nice dinner. Don’t just live for the weekend!
Read this post: Why You Should Schedule Your Free Time >>>
16. Motivational videos / killer playlist
Music is a great way to get yourself going. Start Monday with an upbeat backing track to the day you want to have.
Be more consistent in the way you treat your body.
Often the weekend is a time for a good blowout – but getting drunk, eating kebabs, staying out late on a Friday and Saturday night and sleeping in the following morning can wreak havoc with your body’s circadian rhythm when you try to switch back to “weekday mode” on a Monday.
Consistency is key.
18. Don’t let unfinished tasks roll over
We often let things we should have done the previous week roll over to Monday and dealing with those unfinished tasks maybe something we don’t look forward to.
Use Fridays to get loose ends tied up and ensure that doesn’t happen, so that you can start Monday looking ahead and without having to deal with issues from the previous week.
19. Work from home
This is not always possible in all types of work, but if you are desk-based and working from a computer, it may be possible to convince your boss to let you work for home on a Monday.
Tim Ferriss reveals an interesting approach to this in his book, The 4-Hour Workweek. Check out my review of the book here.
20. Change your job
If you were happy in what you were doing, you’d be excited and energized at the thought of going to work on a Monday.
There’s a quote, “Love what you do and do what you love.”
Loving what you do and doing what you love may seem very idealistic to a lot of people, especially when bills need to be paid, roofs kept over heads, food put on tables and clothes put on backs.
I get it. A lot of people do their job just to earn a living.
But if you hate it enough, you’ll find a way to change it. And if it can’t be changed, look for another job.
Time Hack Hero Takeaway
Despite their reputation, Mondays, in reality, are no different to any other day. How you approach them and what you get out of them comes down to your mindset.
If you are someone who currently struggles with Monday mornings, I hope that some of the tips above will help you overcome that struggle.