How do i work this Monday? Or 6 sure-fire but underappreciated ways to have a better Monday and week ahead
Why hate Mondays? Instead, why not do the things we love to do every Monday morning. Enjoy the day and spread the news: to be happy.
But we understand if you say, it is easier said than done. Can you at least take the next small step and shrug off the stress?
And we know that’s not easy. But instead of cramming you with facts and research as we have done in the last three posts on work-life balance, in the fourth one in the series we look at some easy ways you can have fun and feel good about Monday.
In the previous three posts, we covered why we get it wrong and what we can do about it. The first part was on understanding that the concept of work as we understand it is a social construct and why doing what we love the smart way may be the key. The second part of the series focussed on introspection and why looking inward is critical to living the life we dream of. In the third part, we looked at how writing down your stressful or traumatic experiences at work can put you back in control.
Things you can do to have a better Monday
Here are a few other things you can do.
#1: Do one thing at a time
Doing one thing at a time has been shown by research as being better than multitasking. We covered it in a small informative post a few days back. You can read it here. And if you are too busy to do so, here is why multitasking is bad:
- It increases distraction
- You need more time to complete your work
- Time also increases as complexity in work rises
- Oddly, habitual work takes more time than complex work when multitasking
- Education and knowledge retention suffers
- People who multitask are more impulsive and sensation seekers
#2: Reward yourself for simply making the effort
Have you seen parents or teachers appreciating toddlers for making an effort? As we grow older, that appreciation disappears. We are acknowledged only for winning races that are not worth the sweat we put into them. For most of us, even making the effort to show up on Monday takes herculean strength. Despite this, no one appreciates you because everyone is mired deep in their own hell. But that does not mean you cannot give yourself a pat on the back for simply showing up. Make it a habit of rewarding yourself – a food you like, half an hour of extra watching a show, a few minutes more of meditation – anything that you appreciate and value every Monday for showing up.
But not like this:
#3: Plan the Monday and the week on the Friday before
This may seem like a bummer but if you simply make a list of the things you need to do and the tasks you need to finish on Monday on the previous Friday, you will have a better start to the week. You can also do this work on Monday but starting as soon as possible with work means your activity makes it easier to move through the day. Giving yourself early Monday deadlines makes you run right from the word go.
There is a dark side to this also. Sudden rise in adrenaline on Monday morning will lead to a slower evening as the fall in the adrenaline spike will leave you drained. The week will also seem longer.
#4: Alternatively, take it slow
You can do the exact opposite and give yourself a more relaxed and calmer Monday morning. You can start work an hour late if that is possible, spend the morning planning the week, not look at emails until noon or later. This slow pace is in a way better as it slowly puts you in the groove. The first hour can simply be relaxing music, meditation or catching up on new developments in your area of work. Just don’t overdo it or else this very act of starting slow will drain you.
#5: Give yourself a 4-day workweek
This may seem strange even though some companies and even countries have started implementing it, this may just be what the human population needs to have a more rewarding life. This works especially if you run your own business. Extending the same courtesy to your employees will ensure you never have dearth of job applicants. Initially, you will have to make an effort to keep non-productive work like long meetings at a minimum.
A 4-day workweek with fixed work hours brings a sense of urgency to work. Your day becomes a bit fast-paced at the beginning but will settle down as efficiency takes over and you and your colleagues find your rhythm. Giving yourself a 3-day weekend also helps you have a calmer and more relaxed life.
This section is not long enough to do justice to the concept and so we will talk about it in another post.
#6: Change your work hours
Work hours are usually 9-5 or 9-6 or somewhere around that time for nearly everyone. You can choose different hours like 7-3 or even 6-2. This may seem strange but you will likely have better days if you and people around you get free by the afternoon. You can also start later like 11 or 12 and end at 7 or 8. This again will mean you will avoid traffic and get a more relaxed morning. Win-win situation if your workplace is game enough to try it.
You can read the last instalment of the series here.