You walk into your office with a sinking feeling in your stomach. At best, it can be described as uncomfortable, at worst, a crippling dread. Following the scent of coffee, you sleepwalk into the office breakroom. Empty greetings of “morning” accompanied by blank stares greet you; you take little notice, murmuring a hollow reply of your own. You grip the handle of the pot containing your saving grace and splash the liquid gold into a mug—you don’t remember how it got in your hand. You wander aimlessly around the office until you find your desk. Plopping into your charcoal chair, you turn on your computer and attempt to start the day. It is Monday morning. You have a weeks work ahead of you. And you are a zombie. No determination, no inspiration, no MOTIVATION. Let’s get you into working human condition, shall we?
1. Identify the problem
Monday mornings are a struggle for most people. In fact, one of my favorite quotes alludes to the idea that even those who adore their jobs hate Mondays. It is this: “Even art gets up at 8:00 am on Monday.” Regardless of if you are a rockstar or a corporate accountant, we can all relate to the struggle of getting out of bed and putting ourselves to work.
However, we all have different reasons for WHY this is a struggle. For some of us, it may be leaving our spouse and children behind for the day. For others, it may be that we find no enjoyment in our jobs. Still, others may simply hate leaving the cozy comfort of their beds.
If you want to conquer Monday mornings, you need to identify what it is that you hate so much about getting up and going to work. Then, you need to make a change or come to terms with this problem.
2. Early to Bed Early to Rise
If you are having trouble getting motivated, the issue may not be with your job; it may be that you don’t sleep enough or that you sleep too much. As recommended by the National Sleep Foundation, most working age adults (adults 18-64 years old) should get 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Any more or any less and you may find yourself groggy and slow to start in the morning.
If you want to start your week off right, get to bed early Sunday night, get 7-9 hours of sleep, and wake up early enough to give your brain a little start up time.
EXPERIMENT: If you have a job that allows for a flexible start time each morning, go to bed early and see when you naturally wake up. This is a good way to find out how much sleep you need each night and waking up naturally (instead of to the jolting screeches of an alarm) can be incredibly pleasant.
3. It is the weekend, relax
One reason you may not be feeling motivated at the beginning of your work week is that you haven’t actually given yourself a break – you are rundown from the last work week which somehow extended into your weekend.
Sometimes working over the weekend is inevitable, but giving yourself time to recharge is absolutely essential to maintaining your motivation and quality of work.
Unplug for the weekend when you can. Avoid taking any work-related calls or checking in on any projects. Give yourself a break from the constant stream of emails that come your way and enjoy your weekend. This is not shirking your duties, and while you may feel like this will put you behind, you will be more prepared for Monday morning which is when you’ll really need your energy and focus.
4. Plan Ahead
What does your Monday morning look like? If your first hour of work involves repeatedly “checking” your email, logging onto your social media accounts, or staring at a random list of tasks—you’re doing Monday wrong.
Instead of coming into the office with no game plan, and really no direction, give Zombie-Monday you a break! Before you leave the office on Friday, make a list of what you want to accomplish on Monday.
Revisit your list Sunday night before bed, so it will be fresh when you wake up in the morning. If you do this, you’ll be able to walk into the office confident about what you need to get done. You won’t get bogged down with the usual mundane Monday tasks you perform while trying to figure out what to do with your day.
5. Get Creative, Get Analytical, Get Monotonous
All of us are motivated by different things, and all of us receive little bursts of motivation at different times throughout the day. If you plan according to your usual Monday morning disposition, you may be able to motivate yourself right when you walk into the office, or you may not NEED any motivation at all.
If you know that you are going to be brain dead Monday morning no matter what you do, then plan to tackle your tedious weekly tasks right when you walk in the office. Send out all necessary emails, check in on any current projects, plan all of your meetings, schedule all of your time, etc.
In contrast, maybe all you need to get yourself going is a creative project. Maybe you just need something to get excited about, something that will spark that passionate energy. If this is the case, plan something like a brainstorming session for Monday morning. Sit down with a few of your coworkers and pound out a few hundred ideas for your current project.
Planning to your disposition will allow you to utilize your time in the most effective way possible and you may not have to make a single change to your routine.