Ring. Ringggg. RRRRRRING. It is 6:30 on a Monday morning. Your alarm clock goes off. You can’t bear the thought of getting out of bed and going to work. You suddenly remember that you promised your boss an important status report by noon and realize you are yet to begin a test to gather data for the report. Perhaps, you partied all weekend with family and friends, and dread going back to your uncooperative co-workers and a cold boss. You wish you could stay at home and escape from your commitments. You push the snooze button yet again as you cover yourself with your blanket.
Does the above experience sound familiar? If it does, you probably suffer from Monday morning blues. In other words, it sounds like you have the “Case of the Mondays,” to borrow a phrase from the movie ‘Office Space.’
Mondays are a bit of a drag for many of us. We feel our weekends are inadequate to accomplish everything that we want to—we tend to over-plan and underachieve. We wish we had relaxed more, completed more errands and spent more time with family and friends. When we return to work on Monday, we are hung-over from the out-of-work rhythm of the weekend.
Here are seven habits to beat Monday morning blues.
Habit 1: Prepare for Your Weekend
- Plan all your weekend activities after consulting family and friends. Be realistic in what you can achieve; do not over-plan.
- Before leaving work on Friday evening, clean and organize your desk and prepare a to-do list for Monday morning.
Habit 2: Have an Organized Weekend
- Enjoy a stress-free, relaxed Sunday by planning entertainment and fun activities for Sunday. Spend time with family and friends–go shopping or walking or take your children to the science museum. Or, just be lazy. Focus on recreation on Sunday.
- Complete your home projects and errands on Saturday. This will enable you to unwind on Sunday, before you start your workweek. Instead, if you relax on Saturday, you will realize on Sunday morning that you will need to complete all your household tasks by Sunday night. You will then hurry through Sunday and feel tired by Sunday night: you will not feel well rested on Monday morning.
Habit 3: Maintain a Regular Sleep Pattern
- During the weekend, we tend to go to bed late and wake-up late because we are not required to be at work by 8:00am on Saturday or Sunday. With our sleep out-of-rhythm during the weekend, we find it difficult to wake-up promptly on Monday morning. Maintain your wake-up time on Saturday and Sunday mornings. If you desire to ‘catch-up with sleep,’ get to bed earlier on Friday and Saturday.
- Try not to nap on Sunday afternoon—you will be able to get into sleep early on Sunday night and prevent drowsiness on Monday afternoon.
Habit 4: Prepare on Sunday Night
- Pack your bags, prepare your clothes and setup the breakfast table on Sunday night. If you brought work home, pack-up and organize your workbag. You will not feel hurried or leave important papers at home on Monday morning.
- If possible, review your agenda for the rest of the week and your to-do list for Monday morning. Reviewing your commitments will make you more conscious of your plans for the week ahead.
Habit 5: Relax as you Prepare on Monday Morning
- Go to bed early on Sunday night and wake-up early on Monday morning. You will be able to relax as you wake-up, get prepared and have your breakfast.
- Start from home early. Beat the traffic and listen to good music during your drive to work. By coming to work early, you can concentrate and get high-priority work done with fewer interruptions or before your co-workers stop-by your cubicle to discuss their weekends and developments from across the world.
Habit 6: Choose Work You Enjoy for Monday Morning
- Having a productive start-of-week is critical to having a great week ahead. If you prepare your to-do list on Friday evening, you can start working as soon as you reach your desk on Monday morning. Firstly, choose the kind of work you enjoy doing for Monday morning. For example, if you like preparing illustrations, work on a presentation of your new proposal for the project workflow.
- Secondly, avoid negative interactions that may make you feel glum at the start of the workweek. For example, avoid meeting people who may have counterarguments on your project plans or avoid working on emails or memos with arguments against your idea. Experiencing positive interactions will make you feel good about yourself and your work.
Habit 7: Organize the Rest of the Workweek
- If possible, do not have important deadlines or schedule update meetings early in the week. If you have a major project deadline on Tuesday or need to meet your boss on Monday afternoons to discuss test results, you may not feel relaxed during the weekend. On Sunday, you will be concerned about how you will prepare for these commitments. Instead, schedule important meetings for the later part of the week. You will feel good: you have the early part of the week to prepare and you can enjoy the weekend with a sense of accomplishment.
- Plan for fun on Monday evenings: plan on watching a movie or eating-out or taking a walk along the beach on Monday evening. You will have something to look forward to throughout the day on Monday.
- Take a mini-break during midweek. See my earlier blog article on taking Wednesday afternoon time-offs: leave early on Wednesday and do something out-of-your-routine and relax.
The key to beating Monday morning blues is organizing your work for maximum leisure during the weekend. By following the above seven habits, you will enjoy relaxed weekends and prepare yourself for a week of action when your alarm clock goes-off on Monday mornings.