Here are three more solutions:
Get over hump day
“Monday morning is remembered and predicted to be the worst part of the week because it is the first work day after two days of free time, and because four work days follow before the next period of free time,” says Professor Charles Areni. Likewise, Friday evening is the best part of the week because it marks the beginning of an extended period of free time, he adds.
On a subconscious level, this thinking undermines and disrupts people’s focus and ability to be “in the now”. It would make sense that Wednesday is referred to as “hump day” since most workers, as previously stated, are merely trying to get through the week or climb some long, steep, imaginary hill that they long to “get over”.
Hump day symbolises the peak at which point the climb gets easier because in theory, it’s all downhill from there. When you effectively focus on accomplishing your goals for the week, you will find that hump day all but disappears.
Maximise your weekend
Most people dread Sundays because they know that Monday is just around the corner. This leaves Saturday as the only true weekend day.
Recent surveys confirm this: a whopping 72 per cent of those polled spend up to four hours doing chores on a Sunday, which includes 31 per cent attempting to get through the laundry, 24 per cent cleaning the kitchen and 14 per cent changing the bed linen.
Not only is this counterproductive in terms of preventing the Monday morning blues, but also decreases weekend enjoyment. By executing mundane household chores during the week, you free up valuable weekend time that can be spent in a more productive or leisurely fashion, right up until Sunday night.
Sleep less; play more
A new study has found that sleeping in on Saturdays and Sundays can disturb your body clock, leaving you fatigued at the start of the week. Flinders University sleep expert Leon Lack said people often used the weekend to catch up on sleep lost during the week. He says: “We’ve discovered that these sleep-ins are actually putting your body out of whack enough to change your Sunday night bedtime and set you up for Monday blues.”
His research team tested the theory by tracking 16 people over a weekend, asking them to go to bed a little later than they would on a weeknight but sleeping-in an extra two hours. By comparing saliva samples and hormone tests he found participants’ body clocks had been delayed by 45 minutes.
“That might not sound like a lot but it means that you’re not quite as sleepy on Sunday night at the normal bedtime and you’ll be much sleepier the next day,” Prof Lack says. Questionnaires completed on Monday and Tuesday showed much higher levels of self-reported fatigue and tiredness compared with pre-sleep-in days.
This was because the subjects’ circadian rhythms, which determine patterns of alertness and tiredness, had been disturbed, creating an effect similar to jet lag. By mid-week (hump day) most people manage to get back on track but then they start staying up later, getting into “debt” once again and perpetuating the cycle.
If the weekend is a time to play, get up early and do it. You will keep your body clock attuned to your “normal” wake-up time, and get the maximum use of your minimal free time.
Balance out your emotions
If you use public transportation, you know that it is a much less gregarious atmosphere on your train, bus or carpool on Mondays. People don’t engage in conversation as readily as they do on Fridays. It is no surprise that people smile less on Mondays than they do on Fridays. It is common knowledge that smiles invite friendliness or at least friendly interactions.
Put an activity on your Monday schedule (yes, regardless of how hectic your Mondays are) that will afford you the opportunity for some friendly interaction. Whether it is having lunch with a friend, making a donation of some kind, or sending a personal e-mail to say hello to someone, do something that balances your work demands against your personal needs to give you something to look forward to at the beginning of the week.
Using these tips should make your Mondays brighter and more enjoyable.
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