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People have a lot of opinions about a Monday, even though it’s just one of the seven equal days of the week. No other day receives as much negativity as Monday does every single week. It’s understandable but you don’t have to be in that whining mindset all the time! Instead, let’s figure out how to make Mondays better, less stressful, and more fun!
Why Monday is the worst day of the week
Everyone loves to participate in the “I hate Mondays” conversations but actually according to research Monday proves to be the most productive day of the week for most people!
And the least productive? Yes, Friday.
Contrary to our personal perception of the start of the week, we usually have much more energy for the hard work after we rested and took our minds off it for two whole days. That amount of energy continues to be spent along the week, peeking on Monday and going down all the way till Friday.
So why Monday is considered the worst day of the week?
Most people rest and have lots of fun over the weekend by doing their favorite things, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying the hobbies. Nobody tells them what to do: there is no pressure, deadlines, dumb coworkers, or demanding bosses. Suddenly Monday comes and it’s all gone: you are back in the wheel and have responsibilities that your life literally depends on. That’s why Monday is the worst day of the week: it takes your fun away.
Why you always feel bad on Mondays
Your feelings on Mondays heavily depend on your behavior during the weekend. If you drink, oversleep, indulge in stimulators or substances, or stay up too late, it will affect your next morning in many negative ways. Hangover, headache, and tiredness are the most common Monday feelings. If you stick to your weekday routines on a weekend, you won’t feel so bad on Monday.
Another common reason to hate Mondays is actually not about Mondays at all. It’s the work that you hate, or some part of the work that causes a negative attitude, whether it’s a person in your office or a repeatable task you don’t enjoy doing. These bad feelings are channeled toward Monday cause it’s the day you have to go back to work. For people with a different schedule Monday is usually not an issue, but their first day of work is.
That’s partly why many office workers are only productive for a couple of hours per day.
When Monday is coming
Typical feeling when Monday comes around:
When Monday is over
How most people are when Monday is finally over:
5 Reasons Monday mornings suck
Are you someone who officially hates Mondays but doesn’t know why exactly? Here are some obvious reasons why Mondays suck:
1. Your awesome weekend has come to an end
Here is how you most likely feel when Monday hits you after an awesome weekend:
You just had 48 hours of pure fun and now you have to work after all that resting. This is just so unfair! Why is it that there are five weekdays and only two weekend days, you cry! Nobody has an answer, so you pull yourself together and go to work: partly awake, already dreaming about the next weekend.
The best way to fix your Monday attitude, in this case, is to avoid such a huge contrast. Don’t go too crazy on a weekend and allow some time for fun on the weekdays. There are many creative ways to make Monday or any other weekday more fun!
2. You had to wake up early
I am personally not an early riser, and people who enjoy being in a 5 AM Club seem crazy to me. Unfortunately, you can’t do much about it if you have a fixed work schedule.
One thing you can do, though, is to wake up at the same time on the weekend. It may feel weird at first but soon your circadian rhythm will balance itself and you’ll feel much better in the mornings!
At some point you’ll probably even be able to wake up without an alarm, feeling well-rested and energized. Just make sure you get enough hours of sleep, whether it’s a Saturday or a Monday.
3. You get overwhelmed with the amount of work
Being overwhelmed by a giant mountain of tasks is one of the typical causes for procrastination. When there are too many things to do and even more coming every minute, it’s easy to get lost and frustrated and not do anything useful at all.
The best way to avoid this is to plan and prioritize your workload in advance on Friday evening. This way you come to work on Monday prepared and calm as you know what you have to do. If something urgent comes up, just add it to your to-do list where it fits.
Another benefit of planning like that is that it’s easier to say no to people when you clearly see that another task won’t fit in your workload for the day.
4. You weren’t ready for all the distractions
Whether you work from home or go to an office, you are surrounded by all kinds of distractions during the day. If you aren’t careful, they may throw you off track and make your day completely unproductive.
Coworkers want your advice, family members ask for “just a minute” of your time, emails keep coming and accumulating in your mailbox, your phone constantly interrupts you with seemingly urgent notifications… all you want is just a couple of peaceful hours for focused work!
Learn to manage distractions effectively and be prepared to deal with each of them individually. This is the only way to have a productive day at work and actually see some progress.
5. Your office is a mess
Another case of being overwhelmed is when your environment is not productivity-friendly.
This may not be apparent but a badly organized workplace is one of the factors that affect your productivity the most. They say a clear desk means a clear mind… so enough with the clutter already!
Take away everything that may distract you from your current task, keep minimum items on your desk, and organize your office in a way that it’s comfortable to be in and professional-looking yet still a little bit fun.
These were my five reasons why Mondays are the worst! Now let’s see how you can make them ten times better!
How to make Mondays better: 8-step strategy
Here are 8 simple steps to make Mondays more bearable:
1. Make an effort to maintain a positive mood
It’s easy to just jump into negativity first thing after you wake up on Monday!
Don’t let this happen: make a mindful effort to start your day on a positive note. As soon as you put yourself on a positive frequency and maintain it, your whole day will feel lighter and easier to manage.
Think about something good that is going to happen today and smile! If you can’t think of anything good off the top of your head, plan it in advance so you wake up excited!
Here are some resources to help you start your Monday in a positive mood:
- 60 Happy Affirmations That Instantly Make You Feel Better
- 66 Inspiring Positive Quotes For Negative Thinkers
- 100 Positive Affirmations For Creativity To Inspire Creative Ideas
- 70 Inspiring And Funny Sayings About Mondays
2. Stick to a healthy daily routine over the weekend
Build yourself a daily routine based on healthy habits, and stick to it on a weekend.
If you don’t have any good habits, start building them one by one as they will improve the quality of your life tremendously! But don’t overwhelm yourself with everything at once: pick one or two habits, repeat them until they stick and kinda get automatic, then use habit stacking to add more. You can use apps like Habitica to make maintaining the streak more fun!
Some good habit ideas to pick up:
- Sleeping schedule: wake up at the same time no matter what day it is.
- Drink water: a glass of water first thing in the morning is great to wake up your body.
- Morning yoga or workout: even quick 5-10 minutes workouts are better than nothing! Love Sweat Fitness channel is my current favorite for this.
- Journaling: there are so many different journaling prompts to understand yourself better. Start with something easy like a gratitude journal or a dream journal to inspire yourself every day!
- Positive affirmations: you have much better chances to have a good day on Monday (or any day for that matter) if you start it on a positive note. Set the intention with productivity affirmations, cheer yourself up with some happy ones, or dig into millionaire mindset affirmations to start your morning strong. If you are interested to learn more, here is my full collection of positive affirmations to help you become a more positive person.
3. Make a to-do list on Friday
Planning your day in advance is a great tactic for avoiding as much stress as possible on Monday.
It’s rare that your agenda changes too much over the course of the weekend. Most likely you’ll be able to work according to a plan, with some minor adjustments here and there.
At the very least, you won’t waste any time in-between tasks on deciding what to do next. Keep a prioritized list in front of you at all times and jump from one task to the next without wasting your precious brainpower on making unnecessary decisions.
How do we know that brainpower is limited? Just look at all these successful guys who wear the same clothes all the time!
By having a list of things to do, you will be also less likely to distract yourself with mindless scrolling after you finish a part of the work – which will lead to better results at the end of the day!
4. Start the day with a win
Give yourself a small one-bite task so you can finish it quickly and start the day with a feeling of achievement. Make sure to cross it off your list (isn’t it the best part of having a list?) to feel good about yourself.
One down, a few more to go! Praise yourself, celebrate every win, no matter how small it is. Reward yourself after harder tasks and promise yourself something cool for finishing a big project (here are some inexpensive gift ideas for self-appreciation).
All of these techniques trigger your “happiness” hormones that stimulate you to do even better and work more effectively in anticipation of a reward (even if it’s just a self-compliment). They also contribute to growing your self-esteem and increasing your self-worth by recognizing the actual results of your hard work.
Monday or not, you are crushing it!
5. Practice mindfulness
Living more mindfully can improve your life on so many levels!
You get to be more present, enjoy the simple things, experience mental clarity to give space to the important stuff, relieve stress much easily… the list can go on and on.
In fact, I have a list of 20 questions you should ask yourself every Monday that are meant to help you reflect on your life and push you to make it a little bit better week by week. You can write your answers down in a simple notebook and maybe review your answers next week and compare your feelings.
The next level is to buy a dedicated mindfulness journal that has a deep question for every single day! But if you are new to this whole mindfulness concept, I’d say start with Monday reflections and see how you feel about it.
There are, of course, various other mindful activities other than journaling to practice mindfulness if you don’t enjoy writing!
6. Plan your meals ahead and include a treat
Deciding what and when you are going to eat takes many more decisions off your plate during the day (brainpower, remember?). Monday is hard enough already, so why not take some weight off it?
A perfect way to do it is to prepare all your main meals for the week on Sunday. It’s very common as you don’t have to think about food and spend time cooking during the week: just warm it up and your lunch or dinner is ready to eat. If that’s something that may be helpful to your routine, Youtube has tons of recipes for meal prepping.
If meal prepping is not your thing or you don’t cook at all, it’s still good practice to think about your meals in advance. When you are focused and working on something important, it’s so easy to get caught up in the process and forget to have lunch!
Monday workflow may be chaotic, and meal planning helps you to not stress about the food as much. When you have little time to eat, you better not waste it on making decisions!
Whether you make your food yourself or not, arrange a little treat for yourself to make Monday more bearable! It doesn’t have to be unhealthy or sugar-loaded, by the way: there are lots of healthy treat ideas out there.
7. Clean your office on Sunday
I’m saying Sunday because most of us work from home offices right now. If that’s not the case, obviously, Friday is your cleaning day.
If your office is always a mess, imagine how nice it would feel to enter it and see a lot of free space and clean surfaces! And how professional you will look if you happen to have a Zoom meeting on Monday!
Use the best practices for setting up a home office, and try to make as little mess during the week as possible. Organize your desk with some useful tools and aim to put every item in its place after use. This simple method will help keep regular cleaning to a minimum.
Make a habit to clean up your workplace on a weekly basis and literally have a clean slate every Monday!
8. Make good use of your planner
A good productivity planner is much more than just a notebook with a page for each day!
You can do a lot of brainstorming, planning, and evaluating your results if you choose the right planner. When Monday comes, you may plan your whole week, reflect on the previous one, break down the upcoming projects into smaller tasks, track deadlines, emphasize focus points for the day, and apply so many more effective strategies!
Some planners come with fun stickers to keep your mood up, others include motivational bits to keep you going. With a huge variety of planners on the market, you can choose if you want your planner dated or not, to cover a whole year or one quarter, to have a whole complicated productivity system inside or be more minimal.
Here are 12 great productivity planners to choose from!
Now you can make Mondays much better!
This was my recipe for making a Monday better!
I hope you picked a few ideas and will try to enjoy Mondays more from now on. If you haven’t seen my 7 reasons to love Mondays, make it the next thing you read. Also, check out these 70 inspiring and funny sayings about Mondays I specifically picked to improve your Monday mood!
Have a good Monday!