On Friday morning, there is a bounce in your step and a gleam in your eye. You know it’s the end of a long workweek, and you have an entire weekend of fun stretching before you. Then, Monday arrives.
What is it about Mondays that we dread so much? Some reasons are quite valid. More heart attacks happen on Monday than any other day of the week, for example. Mondays are one of the least productive days of the week, as well.
If you suffer from the Monday blues, there are a few motivation hacks that will change your mind about Mondays and give you a new perspective.
One reason people struggle to get into the flow of work on Mondays is because they’ve shifted their attitudes to a weekend, relaxed attitude. You must now return to work mode. Get a jump start by prepping for Monday morning the day before. Pack a lunch, lay out your work clothes and quickly review what you need to complete the next day.
One study showed that deep breathing lowers cortisol levels, the hormone the human body releases during stress. If the idea of another full week of work sets you on edge, spend a few minutes breathing in and out. Start your day with deep breathing, but also take a few seconds to do so throughout the day to lower your stress levels.
Read a Good Book
Do you hate Mondays so much that you dread them from the minute you get off work on Friday? If so, simply changing the way you look at Mondays may allow you to be more productive and focused.
There are many motivational books available, and each focuses on a different aspect of motivation. Choose a book and read at least a page or two every day. Spend a bit of time on Sunday night or Monday morning reflecting on what you’ve learned.
Create Your Own Advertisement
Have you ever seen an advertisement for a product and thought how well the item matched the description? Take the time to write out your own commercial that encapsulates every strength you have and your unique skills and abilities. When you’re feeling down or struggling to get going on a Monday, pull the commercial out and read it. This grounds you and reminds you of what you bring to the table.
Force a Smile
It’s Monday. You certainly don’t feel like smiling, but research shows that the physical act of smiling releases feel-good chemicals in the brain. You can essentially trick yourself into thinking you’re happy when you aren’t. The next time you feel like crying because it’s Monday, force yourself to smile instead and see if it lifts your mood.
Celebrate Last Week’s Success
Take the time to quickly review with your team the successes from last week and celebrate the things that went well and the goals that were accomplished. Research shows that small wins and feeling good about what we’ve accomplished helps drive us to be more productive and keep moving ahead. When you’re feeling particularly blue, looking back at successes helps you refocus.
Take a Nap and Drink Coffee
Use one of your breaks or lunch to grab a mug of coffee and then take a quick 15- or 20-minute nap. A couple of different studies show this combination, called a coffee nap, is one of the most effective ways to boost productivity.
Caffeine blocks adenosine, which causes a fatigued feeling. Sleeping allows your brain to clear out adenosine, and after about 15 minutes, the caffeine kicks in. This combination of a quick nap to give you a performance boost last for about an hour, which may be enough to get you past that Monday afternoon slump.
Change Your Mind About Monday
Is Monday really all that awful? Sometimes simply changing the way you look at the day makes a big difference in how excited you are to head back to work. Look at Monday as the opportunity to achieve new goals and successes rather than looking at it as a mountain you must climb.
These methods help improve attitude and productivity, but ultimately you must find what works for you to get you going and help you be a productive, goal-driven performer.