Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday Monday - 3 Ways to Beat the Mondays


There is no getting around it! Monday, with its 700 emails and malfunctioning alarm clock, comes every week. According to a recent study, the average worker is only productive about 3 1/2 hours each Monday. That means at least 5 hours each week employees are paid for complaining about Monday, traffic jams, running kids to school after they missed the bus, locked car keys, eating out after leaving lunch on the counter, stressing out about starting the week, anxiety, head and stomach distress. There is even a 20% increased risk of having a heart attack on a Monday! Even as an entrepreneur with a home office, I still fall prey to the dozens of unplanned distractions each week that all seem to occur on Monday. To help you get through this Monday, and the 32 Mondays left in the year, I have a couple ways to help you be more productive on Mondays.

Preparation -

I was sick this past weekend. Consequently, my mom and a friend brought me lunch and dinner, respectively, yesterday. This put me two meals ahead as I had already begun Sunday dinner. Just waking up today knowing I didn't have to think about meal prep for the entire day eased part of my normal Monday stress. I can vaguely recall a time when I used to prep my meals for the week every Sunday evening. Although that might be a little unrealistic for me now, I could at least take care of one extra meal on Sundays.

Maybe meal prep is not one of your stressors. List your top Monday stressors and see what you can do ahead of time to alleviate at least one. For instance, 50% of workers are late to work on Monday. Have everything laid out the night before - from lunch to socks. This will give you a couple extra minutes in the morning just in case you hit that snooze button.


Smile -

The average person doesn't even audition their smile for the week until 11:16 on Monday morning. Unfortunately, that means your family members, and everyone else you come in contact with, are all getting your mean mug and lackluster greetings until after lunch! Just remember: You are not alone. Nobody is immune from Monday. We are all in this together. Find something - exercise, muffin, meme, or joke - to grant you a smile on Monday mornings. 

As a small business owner or entrepreneur, this poses a much bigger issue. Monday mornings are typically the time businesses meet about the week ahead. How creative and innovate can you be with a group of frowns and wrinkled shirts tightly gripping their coffee? How about setting the weekly planning meeting for later in the day?  If you are an office manager or call center manager, Monday blues could be affecting your customer service interactions at a time when customers are already less happy. 

Work Around It -

If you have the flexibility to do so, just work around Monday mornings. As a solopreneur, I keep Monday mornings free for personal business. To compensate for that time, I work 4 hours every Saturday. I find that I get twice as much done as I did when I used to force the Monday morning thing. I sleep an extra hour every Monday morning. If you have a good employee that is always late on Monday morning, it may make sense for that employee to have a regular late evening later in the week and just come to work an hour later on Mondays. They might have valid obstacles to overcome such as juggling child visitations, carpooling issues, depression or anxiety. The key is to plan the work around proactively as opposed to trying to figure out a fix or disciplinary action after there is a problem.

I am a work in progress, but these three tactics have helped me smile more, and even look forward to, Monday!