How to Defeat Mondays

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Why are Mondays rough? I meditated on this, and as a 8-5er I determined Mondays are especially difficult because there are five days ahead of work (duh, right?!). Five days of people or responsibilities asking things of oneself. As the week progresses, the amount of time belonging to others or tasks dissipates, both naturally as the clock ticks by and proactively as tasks are completed and a worker gets back more agency in what they do.

It’s not just the day, Monday, though is it? This day is often layered up with a number of systemic and acute issues that make it especially hard. In order to identify the many factors contributing to a rough day, I’ve developed a list of questions that could, if addressed, cure a person’s case of the Mondays.

Start with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Start at the bottom Maslow’s pyramid and work your way up. Are any essential needs not being met, if not, work on a remedy.

Are you hungover?

I know the weekend is for 8-5ers, but obviously if a person is hungover on Monday, it’s going to make everything more difficult. Consider not drinking on Sunday, and instead hit up a yoga class, or go for a hike. If you must imbibe an intoxicant, try something more mild like kava tea, or something else less likely to cause a hangover.

Did you prioritize your week on Friday?

Waiting until Monday to prioritize work, can put a person in a vulnerable position. Workers are often greeted on Mondays by meetings and an email inbox full messages. Meetings and inbox triage, let a lone a task prioritization exercise can set the whole day back.

To mitigate at least one leg of this trifecta of work-related distraction, take 30 minutes on Friday to prioritize and outline what you need to get done the following week. To-do lists often can get pushed around, especially after a meeting, or email scan, but a prioritized list going into Monday, will give a person just enough structure to not be totally derailed by new to-dos delivered via email and Monday meetings.

Check out this other article that recommends three books, to ramp up your work efficiency.

Do you like your job?

Though many people will respond to this questions with a knee jerk “no” reaction, it should be considered that a job is the sum of many parts. Each parts has a sub parts too. Maybe it’s just one thorn in a paw making a person’s Monday and work life in general rough.

Questions about your to job consider:

  • What do you like about what you do?
  • Do you like your coworkers?
    • Is there anyone you think is great, or anyone you dislike?
  • What do you dislike?
  • Hows your office environment?
  • Your work space?
  • Hows the commute?
  • Now, can any of these areas be improved?

This “do you like your job” question exercise, could help someone identify any thorns causing needless pain. Once resolved, maybe that job isn’t so bad…

Are you keeping your eyes on the prize? Why are you showing up on Monday in the first place?

This can prove to be the most challenging question of all. Taken far enough it could lead to profound philosophical introspection. There are countless books on this topic, none with a definitive answer.

This answer, however, can come from within, and in some cases the absurdity of this question can by bypassed by simply identifying goals. Long term goal planning can help mitigate this extra stress caused by daily and short term challenges. Goal planning can help a worker identify what they’re working towards. If a person can look beyond just the stress of this one day, or one week, or one negative aspect of their job, they can essentially transcend a defeated Monday.

In identifying a goal or objective, and staying focused on it, a worker may be able to bypass the mass distractions their hit with in the work-a-day world, especially on Monday.

“According to what one of the elders said, taking an enemy on the battlefield is like a hawk taking a bird. Even though it enters into the midst of a thousand of them, it gives no attention to any bird than the one it first marked, ” Ghost Dog.

Try these tips and let me know how they go. Do you already have tactics to beat Monday? Share your thoughts in the comments, or hit me up on Twitter.

– Nate

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