Monday is probably the most unpopular day of the week. It is associated with the return to work, the end of a vacation, work announcements, long queues in payment centers and the bank, and a lot of stress-triggering activities.
Even with a work from home arrangement, Monday has not improved much. But as the starting day of the workweek, it should be given importance. It could set the mood for the rest of the week. If you feel good on a Monday, you wouldn’t be dragging your feet until Friday.
Here are a few tips on how you could ease your mind peacefully into another week’s hustle.
1. Wake up early
Waking up early does not mean you have to get up at a particular hour. Early is relative to each of us. It simply means you wake up two or three hours before your work. This is your personal time and you could use it to prepare yourself for the day — and week — ahead.
2. Adopt a mind-clearing routine
Again, it would be different for each person. Some do yoga, others do meditation, while others prime their minds by conditioning their body through a brief run. Clearing your mind can even simply be the routine of putting on your coffee machine, and spacing off while you sit and wait for your drink to cool down a bit.
3. Eat a hearty and healthy breakfast
Several studies have already been done on how food could affect our emotions. Similarly, if we don’t eat enough to sustain our energy needs for the entire day, we would feel drained, irritable, and most likely unmotivated to do beyond the minimal output expected of us. Following good eating habits will also make your doctor and health insurance provider happy as nutrition is the first defense against any kind of disease.
4. Take breaks during your work hours
If you have heard of the Pomodoro technique, it follows that concept of having to take breaks in-between chunks of work. Your work interval doesn’t have to follow the prescribed 25 minutes. It depends on the kind of work you need to accomplish. If you need to concentrate on something, like writing a comprehensive report, the 25-minute intervals could disrupt your attention.
5. Your breaks can be productive
Play a language game, read something you find interesting, play some music to clear your mind. What is important is you make sure that whatever you do during your break is not related to your work. Otherwise, your mind remains bogged.
6. In line with setting break time, clearly set your working time
Once you are done with your work hours, as much as possible do not open your emails and work communications. Set an emergency line for your boss or colleagues so that they go through this if there is an urgent concern at work. Make it clear that only when through this line would you communicate beyond your work hours.
7. Unwind every day
What makes you forget all the workload? Is it reading? Is it watching a show? Chatting with friends? Your mode of unwinding is different from others. So follow what you feel. The important thing is at the end of the day you are able to rid yourself of the pressure you might have felt while at work. You let it go while you are resting. You are not escaping your responsibilities — you are merely preparing yourself so that you can face them again adequately the following day.
8. Sleep for at least seven hours
They say that sleeping hours vary per person. But it is not how you feel — it is the required number of hours your body would need to regenerate damaged cells. You can’t make up for your lost hours of sleep on weekends. This is one of the unhealthy habits of many busy persons. They think that they can compensate by sleeping in on a Saturday or Sunday. But the cells that had not been rejuvenated the entire week couldn’t be revived with those extra hours of sleeping over the weekend. They had to be nurtured back to health immediately at the end of the day.
It could take long before you find your Zen at work. Each person has a different work rhythm. Your capacities as well as your limits are your own. It is important that you don’t compare yourself to others and find your comfortable routine. Once you have gained this wisdom about yourself, you would eventually be able to balance your work with your other interests in life. You don’t even have to wait for weekends.
Mondays would be a breeze — it’s just another day in the week, not different from a Friday or even a Saturday.