3 Behaviors to Beat the Monday Morning Blues

Monday morning_Nov2011_webWhen Monday morning rolls around, the last thing we want to hear is that buzzing alarm. We don’t want to get dressed, we don’t want to drive to work, and we definitely don’t want to face the big stack of unfinished business that hasn’t moved since Friday.

In the immortal words of the temp worker from the movie Office Space, “Uh-oh. Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays.”

After spending two days away from work, colleagues, and business attire, it’s no wonder people moan at the thought of coming back to the job duties they left last week. A recent study in the British newspaper, the Telegraph, reports most people find Monday mornings so difficult, they won’t smile until 11:46 a.m. It’s time to stop fearing the new work week wake up call. Here are three things you can do to make Monday morning arrivals much easier.

Better Bed Times
Yes, it’s tempting to take advantage of your weekend by staying out late and sleeping in. There’s nothing wrong with going out and enjoying the company of others, but too much tampering with your sleep schedule can come with a price. Try to avoid staying up too late on Fridays and Saturdays and sleeping in too late during the weekend. You could be spending all week trying to get back on track for two nights of fun.

Waking up earlier may not be a popular option for your weekend, but who knows, you might actually like getting up earlier once you see how much you can get done. Keeping a consistent sleep schedule all week can help you feel energized and ready to face the work week. With all your energy, you could make sure your work week ends strongly to avoid dreading a large Monday workload.

Build Blueprints for Your Work Week
A winning way to avoid dreading the call of Monday is to re-strategize your work week. Try managing your time more efficiently while at work. This could be as simple as setting certain times each day to check your email or voicemail instead of stopping what you’re doing when you receive one, to as complex as establishing obtainable goals throughout the week to keep you on track. This way, you won’t have a pile of work to worry about while you are supposed to be taking time off. Also, on Fridays, it can be helpful to take a moment to set your schedule for the next week, giving you a clear plan to return to.

While Wednesday can be known as “hump day,” that doesn’t mean you can’t set aside some time in the middle of the week to do something fun. Take some friends to the local game playing on a Wednesday night, have a girls’ night at the movies, attend an art or music class, or have a romantic night out with your spouse. You can’t fit all of your fun into two days, so give yourself some time to recharge from work during the week.

Take a Breather
When we try to cram so much into an entire weekend, we often forget the purpose of the weekend. We get days off to enjoy our lives and recharge our batteries. But we can’t recharge them if we’re always using them. We don’t always have to postpone chores like laundry or lawn mowing to the weekend if you divide them up in smaller chunks throughout the week.

A weekend full of too many fun activities can be draining and can make you feel unrested. Working while feeling fatigued can hurt your productivity at work and leave you more open to distractions. Make an effort to plan your weekend activities with events that leave you feeling content and fulfilled, not frazzled and imposed upon.

The Monday morning blues has become a kind of cultural tradition in the workplace. Employees tend to gather together to talk about how hard it is when you have “the Mondays.” But if you change a few behaviors, you’ll feel ready and able to take on Monday and every day. What are some ideas you have to avoid dreading coming back to work after your weekend?

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