Making Mondays Work for You

Monday Blues for Freelancers

Are you one of those people who always get the Monday Blues?

Do you have to drag yourself out of bed? Do you feel sluggish and unmotivated all day Monday? And does every thing seem to go wrong on this day?

The Monday blues are common. In fact, a study by the firm Mercer found that 35% of all sick leave is taken on a Monday. In another study, more than 25% of people surveyed said the thought of going back to work on Monday morning was enough to ruin their weekend.

These studies were done among employees, and you’re a freelancer. But I’ll bet if you could take Mondays off, you would.

What’s Wrong with Mondays Anyway?

It’s natural to be in a bad mood on Mondays. Most likely, you spent the weekend having fun, going to bed late and then sleeping in. You’re sleep deprived, and your body clock has been reset to “weekend mode.”

Of course you’re going to be particularly exhausted on Monday morning. You won’t be ready to take on a new work day, because your physically fatigued.

You’re also longing to extend the leisurely pace of the weekend, the absence of obligations, and the time spent with family and friends. Weekends mean fun and relaxation. Mondays mean work and responsibilities. The choice is obvious, isn’t it?

And if you hateyour work, then Mondays become even more torturous.

Make Mondays Marvelous

You don’t have to give in to the melancholy of Mondays. Below are six tips for making Mondays marvelous.

1. Wake up early — or not

The jury’s still out on this one. Some people advise getting up early on Monday mornings, so we can get an early start and avoid the stress and problems that come with being late.

Others suggest sleeping in for at least an hour, and then gradually easing into the rest of the day.

I say you experiment and do what works best for you. In my case, when children have school, I have no choice but to get up early, pack lunches, and get the munchkins ready for school. On vacations, I find that waking up late tends to make me more depressed. The morning seems to fly by and I find myself having very little time left to tackle my to-do list.

2. Cheer yourself up

You know yourself best, so you know how to get yourself out of a Monday morning funk. This could mean wearing your favorite clothes (fortunately for us freelancers, we can work in our jammies, if that’s what cheers you up). Ladies, put on some makeup. You’ll look and feel better. Put on your fave music. Talk to friends who always manage to make you laugh.

3. Schedule a fun activity

Nothing will get you jumping out of bed faster than knowing you’re going to do something you enjoy. Schedule a favorite activity on Mondays. Plan to work in a coffee shop, if that floats your boat. Make a lunch date with a friend. Or reward yourself with a cupcake at the end of the day. Promise yourself a long, hot bath before bed.

It doesn’t have to be extravagant. It does have to be something you’ll look forward to.

4. Take it easy

Don’t schedule difficult, complicated, or important activities on Monday. Instead, use that time for menial tasks, jobs you enjoy (to the point you’d do them even if you weren’t paid). For example, if you hate updating your books, don’t do that on Mondays. Fridays might be a better day.

If you can help it, don’t arrange interviews or client meetings on Mondays. Your client or prospect is probably having the Monday blues too.

5. Get a head-start

Sometimes, we dread Mondays, because we left loose ends the week before. Make Mondays easier for you by preparing for it the week or the day before.

On Fridays, make sure to tie up loose ends involving work (that is, unless you work on Saturdays). Write Monday’s to-do list on Friday, too, or on Sunday at the latest.

On Sunday evening, review your task list for Monday. Imagine yourself tackling each activity with energy and clarity, completing each one on time. Make plans: schedule when you will do each task and rest easy in the knowledge that you’re prepared for Monday.

6. Look on the bright side

Finally, a simple change in attitude and perspective will make Mondays, not just tolerable, but something you look forward to. Remind yourself how many people are struggling because they don’t have work. Imagine the unemployed who does not have a reason to get out of bed — except to hit the pavement again, looking for a job. Look at all the blessings you have: your clients, your projects, your family and friends, your health.

Soon you’ll realize each Monday is a sign that you’re still alive. You have a fresh week to achieve your goals and accomplish what you’ve set out to do.

If you think about Mondays this way, then you just might be grateful for each Monday, instead of dreading it.

How Do You Deal with Mondays?

I know someone who actually gets a high every time Monday rolls in. While I’m not that enthusiastic about Mondays, I don’t dread them all that much, either. I use some of the techniques I described above to recognize the gift and all the possibilities that each Monday offers.

How about you? How do you deal with Mondays? Is it a tough day for you to get over? Or is it just like any other week day?

I’d love to hear about your experience. Tell us about it in the comments below.

Image by Perfecto Insecto