Science might insist that Tuesday is actually the most miserable day of the week, but for many of us Monday is at least a close second. Taunted by memories of weekend relaxation and tormented by epic to-do lists, even those lucky enough to enjoy their work can find themselves dragging on Monday morning.
Your go-to plan for a Monday morning pick-up thus far might have been just another cup of coffee, but according to experts, improving Monday actually starts with ending Friday right.
Haunted by the ghosts of last week
What bums many of us out when the work week gets underway on Monday is the huge hangover (not that kind of hangover!) of undone tasks and unresolved issues from the week before. You want to feel optimistic and full of energy, but often you just feel overwhelmed by all the stuff that didn't get resolved last week. Rather than a fresh start, the new week ends up feeling like an inevitable, dreary repeat before it's even really begun.
While focusing more to get control of your commitments can help with this feeling, even if you can't reduce the amount of work you have to do come Monday, you can do something to kill the feeling that last week's failures and disappointments are haunting your week. Just try setting things right with a colleague on Friday.
Smoothing a relationship with someone at the office is always a good way to boost your energy levels. Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources, recommends pausing to be thank someone before you leave the office each day, for example. "Expressing gratitude generates positive feelings and makes others--and you--feel good," he insists on Business Insider.
But you can get even more bang for your buck by attending to your relationships on Friday so that you start out a whole week on the right foot--and especially by attending to ones that aren't going so well. Executive coach Michael O'Brien suggests "Friday forgiveness" to set yourself up for much improved Mondays. The idea is "to forgive co-workers or supervisors instead of ruminating on wrongdoings. It's not always easy, but it can help you shed some of your anger about the situation," Fast Company says, explaining the idea.
"Forgiving isn't forgetting. It's just a simple process to release the emotions that make us less than happy at work," O'Brien tells the magazine.
So set aside a little time on Friday to examine the negative feelings you're harboring toward colleagues and release them (for your own peace of mind come Monday, if not because the other party particularly deserves it) and you'll set yourself up for a much improved Monday. Your alarm clock might still buzz too early and to-do list be longer than you'd like, but at least you'll tackle the day and its challenges free of emotional baggage.
Who could you forgive today in order to be happier come Monday?