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PRODUCTIVITY

6 Ways to Create a Happier Week

Got the Monday Blahs? Here are six actions you can take to get the work week on the right track no matter what day it is.
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I think Monday sort of gets a bad rap. So many people get to the end of their weekend and dread heading back to the grind. I feel blessed that I enjoy the work I do, so to me Monday seems like another day of fun, creativity and camaraderie as I collaborate on exciting new projects.

But I can understand the pressure of starting a new week. Many don't have full control of the pressures that cause stress, be it deadlines, demanding employees, complaining customers or an overload of responsibilities.  Well, here are six tips to give you back some control of your environment and make it more pleasant.  They are good for resetting a weekly tone whether the pressures start first thing Monday morning or Friday afternoon.

1. Complete a Big Project

Leaving many things incomplete over the weekend will leave you stressed when you arrive at the beginning of the week.  Give yourself the satisfaction of completion right at the outset.  Pick a big project that has been nagging at you.  Reprioritize it, call in the troops and go to town. It may take the whole week, but you'll feel greatly relieved when it's finally off your to-do list.

2. De-clutter Something

Coming in and seeing a cluttered desk or office is sure to start the mood of the week with a downer. Do something about it.  Clear the next couple of hours and dig in. Organize your files, arrange your materials, file your emails. You may think this is low priority compared to the rest of your work, but think about how much time you spend searching through a mess to find what you need. When things are organized you feel more prepared and less drained. If you can't do it yourself then hire somebody and free your mind of the mess.

3.  Start Something Special

Beginnings have energy to them.  They are filled with optimism and possibility. Make a list of things you've wanted to start but never gave yourself permission to begin. Pick one that matches your passion and set an action step for every day of the week. By the end of the week you'll feel empowered. You'll understand that you have the control over your own destiny if you're willing to make it happen.

4. Make that Special Appointment

You know that appointment you have been craving? Or maybe it's the one you have been avoiding. Regardless, set it up for this week. The energy from the anticipation will drive you forward.  If it is about opportunity you'll revel from the possibilities. If it's conflict you'll relish the resolution.  Either way you'll move a step forward and feel better for it.

5. Create a Learning Experience

Studies have shown that people are happiest and most fulfilled when learning. If you are just doing the same thing day in and day out with no mental stimulation you are bound to feel despondent. The only way out of that rut is to improve you. There are plenty of tools to expand your mind and improve your stature. Start reading a powerful book or sign up for a seminar that will help you raise your game to a whole new level. Before long you'll look back on this day and wonder what took you so long to take action.

6. Schedule a Treat

Do something nice for yourself. Plan a special lunch, book an event or go to a special place you have always wanted to visit.  It will make this a week to remember. If you are carrying stress and dreading the workweek, you most likely are not rewarding yourself for the contribution you are making and that will lead to burnout. If you want a bonus mood booster, include someone else from the office in your special event. Treat someone who contributes heavily and yet appears to be under appreciated. The recognition you show will add to the higher morale of everyone in proximity for at least a week.

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Last updated: Mar 24, 2014

KEVIN DAUM | Columnist

An Inc. 500 entrepreneur with a more than $1 billion sales and marketing track record, Kevin Daum is the best-selling author of Video Marketing for Dummies and the executive producer of Amilya! on 77WABC New York. Sign up here and never miss out on Kevin's thoughts and humor.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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