It doesn’t matter if you are an intern at a start-up or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, Mondays are the day after the weekend. And they can be amazing days.
How do you see it? The glass, half full or half empty? It might mean the difference between a productive week or a week full of “countdowns” till Friday.
“We know from countless studies in psychology and neurology that your current emotional state has a huge effect on the quality of your work,” international author Alexander Kjerulf tells Forbes Magazine.
That’s why It’s important to turn Monday into a day to look forward to; one that motivates you to kick off the week with a smile. Here are a few suggestions to help make Mondays more fun and productive.
Prep for Monday Mornings
Start the week off on the right foot by preparing for Monday on Friday. Use Friday afternoon to organize yourself for the upcoming week, Monday will be like a good friend. You’ll have a good idea of what’s waiting for you on Monday, eliminating time spent regaining your footing. It’s smooth sailing from there.
To boost your Monday motivation, plan a light schedule and assign less-liked tasks for Tuesday or Wednesday. The goal is to make Monday fun and use that day’s activities to ease the transition from the weekend back to work mode, making you more productive with a smile.
Some companies are even implementing a “No Meeting Monday” rule. This clears space in your calendar for getting the week going without being bogged down by a calendar full of meetings. Not a bad idea, huh?
Do a Little Extra to Make Mondays Fun
Many companies like to get right down to business on the first day of the week. But, try something different and make Mondays more fun and inspiring, a day to look forward to. It could be a group lunch or a twist on the staff meeting that gets employees personally involved with a creative presentation or activity. Another idea is to set up a whiteboard or creative wall where employees can scribble any ideas that pop up throughout the week for open discussion during the Monday meeting.
On a personal level, Huff Post suggests giving yourself something exciting to look forward to by designating Mondays as game night, family movie night or schedule a weekly lunch date with friends to kick start the week. Planning something different each week will keep you motivated to get up on Monday and have a great week.
Get Enough Rest on the Weekend
Part of the reason Monday can be tough is simply a lack of sleep. A great Monday starts with getting a good night’s sleep the night before. You will be ready for that “twist” on Monday.
Try to go to bed a little earlier on Sunday night and remove distractions such as light and noise (that means your cell phone!) that can interfere with a sound sleep. Plus, the right combination of rest, diet and exercise will help you feel better every day overall, not just on Mondays.
Get Outside During the Day
To keep your Monday fun, go for a walk at lunchtime. Studies suggest that even a light walk can immediately improve your mood and give you the energy to handle a stressful workday. Take a walk with some co-workers, it is a great way to get to know the people you work with.
The lunch walks and getting outside during the work day can actually help boost your creativity. Taking time away from electronic devices to clear your mind and enjoy a walk can boost your creativity by 50 percent, says one study.
“Burying yourself in front of a computer 24/7 may have costs that can be remediated by taking a hike in nature,” says David Strayer, a psychology professor studying the effects of the outdoors on creativity.
While taking a hike is not feasible during the work day, taking a walk around the block, perhaps even to the local coffee shop, can do wonders for your Monday.
Start your week by seeing the glass half full and you’re on your way to having a better Monday. During your morning preparation or commute to work, especially if you are trudging through Monday morning traffic, “Think about the type of playlist you would create for a workout and incorporate that same upbeat, high-energy music into your morning preparation or commute to work” Rita Friedman, a Philadelphia-based career coach tells Forbes. Your upbeat attitude can even influence others around you who might also be feeling the Monday Blues.
A better Monday starts with your determination to make it so. Be purposeful and predetermine your Monday by organizing the day’s activities with a light to-do list. Aim for a good Sunday night’s rest and wake up with a positive attitude. Tackle the day with upbeat activities that you can share with others and spread the motivation around.