Hey, I know it’s Monday. But it’s also a new day and a new week. And in that lies a new opportunity for something special to happen.

Michael Ely

I work from home.  There is no location trigger to signal work from home life.  My weekday doesn’t look very different from my weekend.  My office door is still open.  My laptop is still on.  My desk is still waiting for me. 

Yet, my mindset is very different on a weekday vs. a weekend.  On a weekday, I’m focused on work.  I strive to be someone I would hire. 

Then Friday comes, and my focus starts to waver.  My ability to stay on task gets more difficult.  I find myself making excuses to do errands or find a reason to go outside. 

It’s not that I never work on the weekend.  I often do. 

Sometimes, it’s simply processing deposits.  Other times is writing.  Maybe I’m finishing month-end.  Regardless, I often do work.  Yet, I treat work different on the weekends:

  • I’m ok, to work in my PJ’s (something I would never do during the week). 
  • I will walk away in the middle of a task and come back a few hours later.
  • I will work on my deck or infront of the fire place.  

There is just something different to me about the weekend. 

It is clear to me that I’ve programmed myself this way. 

In my corporate life, Sunday nights were the worst.  I started to feel the anxiety in the afternoon and would have the worst sleep on Sunday nights as I anticipated what would come at me that Monday. 

Even today, where I control my schedule, love what I do, and have a solid idea of what Monday will be like (I planned it after all), Sunday’s nights are still my worst night’s sleep. 

As I look at habits, I realize that I’ve programmed myself to work Monday – Thursday and start to unwind on Fridays.  In my corporate life, Fridays were a great day; less email, fewer meetings, casual days, and overall a more relaxed feeling. 

Isn’t it amazing how our unconscious runs the show?  Seriously, it is my unconscious that starts the Friday unwind and keeps the weekend vibes.  It’s not my conscious mind.  My conscious mind has all the plans to create a successful Monday! My conscious mind loves it all and has no reason to dial back on Fridays.   

As an NLP-trained coach, I have the tools to change my programming.  The question for me is, do I need to change this?  Right now, no.  I love what I do, but the last year has also taught me the importance of rest and relaxation. 

Therefore, I think this mindset/vibe for the weekend serves me well.  If, at any time, I think that is no longer true, I will call a friend and do some intervention work. 

In the meantime, I wonder, do you dread Mondays? 

If you do, here are some ways to turn the Monday frown into Monday smiles. 

  1. Expect and plan for the crazy

My husband, who is in IT, know that the number of forgotten password calls is higher on Mondays and even higher after long weekends than any other day of the week.  He also knows that Mondays are the day when computers fail, and often disasters happen.  Because he knows this, he plans for it. 

His solution:  No meetings Monday mornings.  He keeps his schedule clear to manage the high volumes and unexpected disasters.  

We can all do that.  Schedule some time on Mondays to manage the unknown.  It will lessen your anxiety if you have that time set aside to manage the Monday craziness. Then, if you don’t need it, bonus!  You can get a head start on your week! 

2. Plan your week! 

Get it out of your head!  Some of the stress that builds on Sundays is because we start thinking of all the things we need to do the next week.  Don’t hold on to it.  Write it down.

On Sunday, set aside a bit of time and plan out your week.  Use that list you have been creating and plan for it.  Set your priorities and plan for the most important priorities first. 

Now you know what to work on and when.  You know what your priorities are, allowing you to think clearly on Monday morning. 

After your week is planned, down for a family movie because you can relax. 

3. Plan for breaks! 

If you have trouble transitioning from the weekend to the weekday, plan for more breaks on Mondays. 

Remember that a real break is doing something to let your mind rest.  It doesn’t mean checking email.  It means getting up and doing something different with your mind.  Think about a quick walk, meditation, or some stretches. 

The goal is to keep your mind clear of stress on Sundays and then set yourself for success on Mondays. 

Just imagine it! 

You have a running list of things you remembered through the weekend that you incorporate into your plan for the week on Sunday.  In your plan for the week, you have scheduled time to deal with the Monday crazies, and you scheduled a few extra short breaks on Monday to help with the transition from weekend brain to weekday brain. 

By the end of the day Monday, you feel like you climbed a mountain and the rest of the week looks amazing! 

I take my own advice.  I plan my week on Sundays, I schedule serious, focused working time on Mondays to get a ton of stuff done to start my week off right, and I plan for breaks in my day. 

Oh, and full transparency … I’m writing this on a Sunday, in my PJ’s on my deck, because writing on the weekends is fun.