Don’t Be Afraid of Monday
Research has confirmed what we have all known for years: People don’t like Mondays.
That’s the understatement of the year.
But why? What is it about Mondays that makes them so dreaded and detestable, so reviled by business owners, nine-to-fivers and overweight orange cats alike? Seriously. What did Monday ever do to us?
Well, it could have something to do with blood pressures collectively rising on Monday mornings, contributing to a spike in heart attacks and strokes at the beginning of the week (Prof. Keith Fox, ERI*), but studies have shown that much of this has to do with the negative attitude toward Mondays and how ill-prepared we are for them when our lazy Sundays end.
Brace yourself. This means that Mondays aren’t all that bad and can actually be VERY productive Best of all: they don’t have to be dreaded every week.
1) Be Prepared
This one’s pretty simple. Go to bed early, get plenty of sleep, wake up early, make time to exercise and loosen up, eat a healthy, balanced breakfast, and leave for work with plenty of time to spare to get you there on time at a leisurely pace. You know, all the stuff we WANT to do and SHOULD do, but never ACTUALLY do.
Throwing yourself into a tight, stressful schedule after a day or two of doing nearly nothing is enough to push your blood pressure over the edge. And when you’re on edge, you can’t think straight and you aren’t productive. Make time to ease yourself into the day. I can almost guarantee that your outlook on Monday will immediately turn around.
2) Check Your Baggage at the Door
Ever notice that the Monday blues are contagious? People who make the most of their Mondays break the trend and build up immunity by starting a precedent of cheerfulness and humanity. They greet everyone with a smile, and take the time to answer their emails thoroughly and kindly.
3) Keep Things In Perspective
First of all, the best thing is not to panic over all the things you have to do when you get back to work. Our culture values multitasking, but our brains work more efficiently when we concentrate on one thing at a time.
Stay focused, and concentrate on the most difficult things first. Not only is your energy higher in the morning, but finishing the difficult tasks will give you the encouragement to keep going and finish more.
But don’t worry if you don’t get it all done today. One of the reasons Monday is so dreaded is because so much is expected out of it. Don’t get me wrong. A solid Monday is a way to set a good precedent, but if something doesn’t get done, there’s always Tuesday. No use burning out Monday and being useless the rest of the week.
These are a few things you can keep in mind to make sure that you can tell your co-workers and employees “Happy Monday” with a straight face, and maybe, just maybe, be extra productive and successful at the same time.
Unless, of course, you got a flat tire on the way to work and realized you forgot your phone, your wallet and your lunch. Then what can I say.
Maybe a Monday is just a Monday.
*Edinburgh Royal Infirmary