Monday has a reputation problem. Even if you absolutely love your career, making the transition from your own weekend schedule to getting up early and commuting back to the office can sometimes feel like a chore.
ManpowerGroup South Africa’s MD, Lyndy van den Barselaar, explains that there are small ways to improve your Monday mood, to ensure you start your week on the right foot and avoid a case of “the Mondays”.
Keep a regular sleep cycle
Your mind may know the difference between weekdays and weekend, but your body doesn’t. Your circadian rhythm will try to keep any routine you train it to follow. If you sleep late for two days on the weekends, don’t be surprised if it’s harder to get to sleep on Sunday night and you feel groggy on Monday morning.
“Keep a regular sleep schedule on the weekends and it will be easier to get up when your alarm goes off on Monday morning, ensuring you feel ready to tackle the week ahead,” explains van den Barselaar.
Start in the middle
After the weekend, sometimes the hardest part of Monday is knowing where to start. You can help yourself on Friday by ending at a stopping point that will be easy to pick up on Monday.
“Draw up a to-do list for Monday before you leave on Friday afternoon. Not only will this ensure that you are on track to complete any unfinished tasks from the previous week, but that you have a clear focus for the day,” van den Barselaar says.
Clean your desk
Instead of working right up until the weekend, spend a half hour before you leave work on Friday to clean and organise your work space. Purge what you don’t need anymore, file away what you want to keep and make sure your workspace is ready to jump in on Monday morning. Your future self will thank you.
What people like about Fridays is the anticipation of the weekend. It’s having something to look forward to that gives people a boost.
You can use the same principle for Monday and plan on a reward for starting your week. This can be something small like planning to have your favorite specialty coffee drink or going out to eat after work — the anticipation of a reward will help you approach the day with a more positive attitude.
Get some exercise
Exercise can boost your mood owing to the release of endorphins, and can assist in upping your energy levels too. “Getting some exercise before you head to work will set the tone for your day by ensuring that you feel positive, energised and ready to face the day ahead,” suggests van den Barselaar.
“A positive attitude is most important, as your Monday sets the tone for the new week — look at it as an opportunity to start afresh, and complete all your weekly goals and deadlines,” she adds.