30 January 2017

Let's Get Through This Week Together

How To Beat The Monday Blues

There it goes again, that despicable bleeping! But you're toasty, and tired and outside it's bitterly cold and miserable. They'll have to call a JCB to haul you out of it today. And for what exactly? Another week of the same old jaded routine and the relentless conveyer belt of urgent tasks. How are we back to this already? What happened to the weekend? Don't worry, there's another on the way, so just sit tight. We'll get you there. The first step is learning how to beat the Monday Blues! 

How To Beat The Monday Blues

Sunday, it's supposed to be a day of rest. But how can you possibly rest knowing that Monday is already waiting in ambush? Here you are, a fully grown adult suddenly reduced to a panicky school-kid – you never done your homework!

Sounds like you're suffering from acute Monday-itis – but don't worry it's a remarkably common ailment, and easily cured.

Now I don't imagine it would surprise you to learn that Monday is the most common day to call in sick. Not just here either, but all around the world. Many call in because they simply can't face the thought of going into work. Many more have genuine reasons, which are always exacerbated by Monday-itis. When you're feeling down your immune system barely puts up a fight. It's basic biochemistry really, but good luck trying to explain that to your boss after you were seen Moonwalking to Smooth Criminal on Saturday night.

In other words, pulling a sickie's not an option. So we'll just have to get through this.

But here's the good news, you've already done this, countless times, so one more's hardly going to make a difference.

Ten Tips To Beat The Monday Blues

We've all been brought up to believe that getting up and going to bed early is the only way to go, but it's simply not true. Early man slept as and when he wanted, just like animals do.  

In fact, no other living creature has the same rigid bedtime schedule as we do.

Scientists now believe that we all have our own genetic clock which varies from person to person. That's why some people are night owls, while others wake up in the morning exploding with energy. I used to have a name for them and it wasn't pretty. But I've since learned that we all have different energy levels throughout the day. So, if you're like me on a Monday morning, here's some useful tips.     

1. Have a Proper Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – remember when your granny used to say that to you? She was right, too.

Take the time to prepare yourself a good, proper healthy breakfast. Not always easy in this fast-paced world of ours but more than worth the extra trouble. Your body and your brain needs proper fuel.

2. Smarten Yourself Up Yourself

Make some extra effort today, give yourself a proper scrub and wear something special. People will notice. You'll feel more confident and people will react in a positive way. Sometimes looking good is the first step to feeling good.

3. Get a Theme Song

Remember when Tommy Tiernan played the depressed priest on Father Ted? Remember how Ted cheered him up by playing the theme tune to Shaft?

It wasn't just a classic piece of telly that, it's also a fantastic little lifehack. Seriously, is it actually humanly possible not to feel funky after hearing that song?

You know how boxers always have a theme song they walk into the ring with? Do the same thing strutting into work. Psyche yourself up with a song from your favourite band or maybe a full orchestral theme from your favourite movie.

Suggestions include the Rocky theme, the James Bond theme, or perhaps John Williams' Imperial March to make you feel as bad-ass as Darth Vader. Or how about some classic James Brown to turn you into an instant Sex Machine? Whatever, just swagger in that door with your head high and your blood pumpin'!  

4. Get There Early To Avoid Stress

Get in there nice and early, that way you're not stressed well before you arrive. Be sure to say "good morning" even if you consider both words to be polar opposites.

Like I say, I'm not a morning person and used to be anyone attempting to engage me in conversation before lunch would get a grunt in reply, if they were lucky!

But the problem there is that emotions are infectious, bad moods and good moods can spread quickly from person to person. So say hello, have a chat, better yet tell a joke so we can all start the day with a chuckle.

5. Tidy Up Your Desk

Shur would you look at the state of it?! How you going to get any work done?!

Just like how a clean house helps you feel more clear and relaxed in your mind a clear and uncluttered workstation makes you more productive.

And yes, I know what you're thinking, I don't care about being productive on a Monday morning... well, ok, but you do want the day to pass quickly don’t you?

Thought as much, so let's start by clearing your work area. Your mind will soon follow and you'll find it far easier to concentrate on your tasks.

6. Make Your Hit-list For The Week

Multitasking – bosses love that word don’t they?

Somewhere along the line doing lots of things at the same time badly became better than focusing on one thing at a time and doing it well. But multitasking bleeds time, because if you're constantly switching back and forth between Task A and Task B you end up wasting tons of time trying to remember where you left off each time. It all ads up, and ends up being a hell of a lot more wasted time than you might think. Not as much as meetings waste but pretty close! 

So, grab yourself a coffee and open up that seemingly impossible list of tasks you've got. Start by organising that list with the biggest, hardest tasks at the top, then work your way down. Aim for five major tasks, one each for each day, Monday to Friday, and make sure to allow time for those unexpected tasks and priority changes.  

7. Slay The Giant

Now's the time to get that one thing out of the way, that one mammoth tasks that makes you miserable just thinking about it – don't procrastinate, the sooner you start the sooner it's done so get stuck into it, get it out of the way, and then it's done.

Then everything else that follows today, and for the rest of the week, pales in comparison.

8. Reel In Those Small Fiddly Things

If possible try get your big task out of the way before lunch then, once you've had lunch, get stuck into all those small fiddly tasks you've been putting off. Doing all of these in one batch will help you feel better, you've gotten that big one out of the way and now we're getting loads of things done. By the end you'll feel like you've had a fantastic day at work and have made tons of progress with zero stress.

9. Disconnect

Leave your work back at the office where it belongs, and disconnect from the stress. Turn off your phone and clear your mind of work-related thoughts – it's time to reboot your brain. Exercise is great for this, doesn't have to be strenuous, a short stroll with the dog will do it! 

10. Make Monday Your Fun Day

I used to dread Monday mornings. And, as a result, was always exhausted on Monday nights. An entire day wasted feeling miserable. Then I decided to change up my routine.

I started going out doing things on Monday nights – no drinking, no late nights – just fun activities. I'd go out for a nice meal, I'd go see a movie, whatever. Just get out of the house and enjoy myself. That way instead of feeling exhausted I felt reinvigorated and already looking forward to the following Monday.

One Down, Four To Go

What are you looking forward to this week? Write it down. What about this month, and the coming months?

For me I've got the EuroMillions on Tuesday and Lotto on Wednesday, plus some of my favourite TV shows and weekly activities. Think of all those things you're looking forward to, a movie that's coming out, a big occasion, like a friend's wedding, a concert, visitors flying in from abroad, or that holiday when you go jetting off to the sun. Whatever it is, mark it all down. Each coming day gets you one bit closer!

Now let's go through those days together…

Tuesday

You've already completed the biggest task yesterday, so doing the second-biggest task today won't be quite so bad. And then, when that's done, all the hard work's already behind you. Knowing that will help you sleep like a baby.

Wednesday

Middle of the week already, the third toughest task of the week cracked, hump day's over, it's all plain sailing from here.

Thursday

Thursdays can be trying because not everyone is feeling the same sense of motivation you have and aren't always the most helpful. Still, you're well on top of your work and already planning what you'll be doing tomorrow night…

Friday

You made it! Told you! From now on in it's just a formality, really. You're like an F1 driver who's got out in front, quickly lapping your rivals and now you're just coasting your way to a clear victory. Wrap up your week by planning out your tasks for the following Monday and making sure your workstation is clean and clutter free so you can come in and smash it the following week. All that's left is to go home and check your EuroMillions numbers.

As for Saturday and Sunday, we'll leave those days entirely up to you!