Do Mondays mean Losing Your Freedom?

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barbwireSometimes Monday’s can feel like going to prison.

It’s like you’ve been on work-release all weekend, and now you’ve got to go back in.

When boss comes banging on your door (cell) for last week’s report, it can be stressful and frustrating.

When being “back in” get’s you down, you can always pull out your phone to see those shining faces from the weekend activities or quickly scroll through your Facebook feed for a pop of happiness.

It’s not bad if you get your morning motivation this way.

But there’s one problem with this strategy for Monday morning motivation.

It’s based in the past.

It’s nostalgia.

If you find your morning motivation based on what happened in the past then you’re going to have a problem.

It’s not sustainable, and it can lead to burnout.

Morning Motivational

If you experience a lack of motivation for Monday’s you’re not alone:

  • The average time a professional cracks their first smile on Monday morning is 11:16 A.M according to a UK study.
  • Half of those surveyed admit they are most likely to be late for work on a Monday because of the struggle to get up and out the door after the weekend.
  • Most of those surveyed say they only manage about three-and-a-half hours of actual productive work  at their jobs on Mondays.
  • The American Journal of Hypertension showed that many workers suffer a significant increase in blood pressure as they return to the office after the weekend.
  • You’ve also probably heard people refer to grumpiness at the beginning of the week as “having a case of the Mondays”.
  • And the load of songs inspired by melancholy Monday mornings like Manic Mondays by the Bangles; Monday, Monday by the Mamas and Papas.

But this doesn’t have to be you.

What if you had a much more powerful way to motivate in the morning?

  • You’d consistently wake-up on fire to get your work week started.
  • You’d be cracking a smile as you get out of bed.
  • You’d still lose sleep on Sunday night but it’d be because you were excited to get to work.

It’s possible to experience your Monday mornings entirely differently.

Read on.

Why It’s Hard to Motivate on Mondays

So what is it that makes Monday motivation so difficult.

Mondays mornings represent a shift in routine.

You’ve spent your weekend sleeping a little later, staying up a little later, and even eating on a different schedule; then when Monday rolls around it usually means you’re back on “school hours”.

When you’re making this kinds of shift for you and your family it’s always going to create some discomfort.

Monday mornings represent a loss of freedom.

This is especially true if you’re working within an organization,.

Consider that you’ve just spent the entire weekend on your own time, and Monday means you’re back on the clock, executing some else’s plan; and making choices based on someone else’s rule.

Lastly, Monday mornings represent overwhelm and stress. 

On Monday there can be a huge inbox of email waiting for you, specifically if you have a team that likes to “get a head” and start firing emails on Sunday night.

And there’s also the dreaded to-do list and the anticipation to tackling that Monday commute way but work.

No wonder Monday Mornings can give you the blues.

Morning Motivational Mindset Shift

Morning Motivational

Starting to look at your Monday morning motivation differently starts with a simple mindset shift, and it comes from one of my favorite authors, Daniel Pink.

Daniel Pink says that most people think about motivation as something done to you or done for other people.

Instead consider your own motivation as something that’s internally sourced.

The simplest way to identify this internal sources of motivation is to find your own personal reason “why”.

“Why” motivates for the long haul.

For example, maybe you’re heading to work on Monday to appease the boss, lay the groundwork for a raise,  or just get through a project that’s been hanging over your head for awhile.

That’s like losing weight for a class reunion or a beach trip.

Yes, those are both motivating factors to actually lose weight but it’s not a sustained over the the long term.

Eventually you’ll burnout out on the weight loss program.

But what if your motivation for weight loss were internally sources.

What if they came from a place a little deeper?

With a deeper reason, motivation for weight loss is much more sustainable.

Try losing weight so you can be there for your family or because you want to be there as your kids grow up and get married, and they have kids.

See the difference?

Consider how your Monday motivation changes when you think about the example you want to set for your kids, how you want to help your your co-workers that you’ve been with for years,  or how you believe in  overall mission in your company.

Or simply, you believe that the job you’re doing help you learn and prepare for the next step in your career.

Those are deeper, more meaningful reasons to motivate in the morning.

Three Morning Motivational Tips

Shifting your mindset for Monday Motivation is a first step.

Now here are my 3 favorite motivational tips you can practice to give yourself that Monday morning boost.

1. Connect with your Tribe

The first thing to do at the office to motivate and put some spring in your step actually has nothing to do with your to-do list.

Start your day by connecting with your tribe.

Try connecting to the environment where people are positive and inspiring for you.

There is little worse than starting your day at the office with a downer of a conference call or a negative interaction in the hallway.

Take control by planning and scheduling your first few interactions of the day.

Set up a coffee meeting or a conference call with someone at the office that you is typically upbeat and creative.

I find this a low stress way to motivate because it just involves showing up…and a little bit of planning.

Try calling into the Weekly Spark.  This call is built to inspire and provide motivation for your workday.

You can also gain motivation by connecting with your tribe at home.

In my family, we often plan breakfast together and hold our own little breakfast party. It really helps us get our day stated off right in every positive way and the motivational momentum we get carries over into work (and school).

2. Practice the Earnest Hemingway Technique

Monday MotivationalNothing helps your Monday morning motivation like momentum, and Ernest Hemingway had a brilliant approach.

His technique was to leave the last chapter or paragraph unfinished at the end of day especially when he knew exactly how it was going to end.

Then when he sat down at his desk the next day, he could immediately start writing and build momentum for the rest of his day.  He’d never find himself at his desk wondering what to do next.

You can apply this technique to your Monday morning.

Instead of staying late on Friday or working over the weekend to wrap up your work, pick a stopping place strategicially, so when you get to work on Monday you know exactly what’s next.

You’ll never be sitting at your desk on Monday trying to prioritize and figure out “what’s next”.

This momentum will carry you through your work day.

3. Baby Step Your Morning

You’ll be more motivated to get into the office when you know exactly what you’re going to do first.

Try writing out you first 5 to 10 steps of the day.  Write them out in detail.

I often use a simple post-it note to list out my first steps of the day.  I stick it on my laptop and then just simply execute when I sit down at my desk.

It really gets your mind into execution mode right away and is a big confidence booster for tackling any big issues that come up later in the day.

So now you’ve got the mindset and tools to motivate on Mondays.

Take one of the tips above and adopt it for your weekly routine.

Here’s to Monday Motivating!

Ben

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