How To Make Your Work Day Less Terrible

We've got many names for that "ugh" feeling you get when you wake up after the weekend and realize it's back to the Monday grind. Whether you subscribe to having a case of the Mondays or trudge in to work with the Monday blues, you don't have to hate what comes after Sunday. There are ways to make your Mondays less terrible.

The trick, though, is not to just smother the day with positivity. There's plenty of advice out there that tells you to seize the day and come into work with sparklers in hand, ready for the best. But it's not about these giant overhauls and brightly chipper attitudes because, let's be real, those don't last long. Instead, you have to make little tweaks on how you leave your desk on Friday night and how you spend your Monday morning to have a lasting effect over your attitude on the start of the weekday. For example, if you leave your desk come five o'clock Friday with projects you were too burnt out to tie up or scary emails left unanswered, it's no wonder you have a bad time clocking in after the weekend. Or if you wake up 20 minutes before you have to race out of the house and be on your train into town, you're not going to feel relaxed and happy to get back to work after a couple of days relaxing. Beating the Monday blues is all about planning. Below are seven tips on how to make your Mondays suck less — follow them and you may never mourn the end of a Sunday again.

1. Don't Leave Things Stacked Up On Friday

Don't leave work without finishing the annoying tasks on your to-do list! When Friday rolls around we're ready to bust out of the office like it's the last day before summer break. Tempting, but if you want your Mondays to suck less make sure you don't have any daunting tasks waiting for you over the weekend. Just get 'em done, even if your brain is already on happy hour come five o'clock.

According to career writer Jacquelyn Smith at Forbes, "To help combat that Monday morning anxiety, be sure to leave yourself as few dreadful tasks as possible on Friday afternoon." And if you did leave something anxiety-laden to deal with after the weekend, get it done first thing in the morning. That way it's over and done with and you won't let it define your whole day.

2. Think About What You're Excited To Tackle

We usually think of the week ahead in an "Oh god, I have all this ahead of me" kind of way, which is what makes Mondays so blue. Granted, a work desk has a lot of things on it that don't necessarily call for confetti canons, but there are certain tasks that got you excited about your job or catch your interest. When you head into work on Monday, think about those instead.

Alexander Kjerulf, international author and speaker on happiness at work, told Forbes, "Make a list of three things you look forward to at work that week. This might put you in a more positive mood.” Whether it's an interesting case waiting for you, a meeting with a client you enjoy, or the start of a new project, there are just as many things to look forward to as there are to dread.

3. Find Your Moments Of Awesomeness In The Day

Mondays usually signal catching up on abandoned projects that were ditched mid-afternoon Friday and straightening out everything that went wrong during the weekend. Yikes. I feel you, no one's going to cartwheel to work knowing that's waiting. But it's not like the whole calendar is a solid block of dread, right? There are moments of awesomeness tucked through out the day — it's up to you to find them and put smiley face stickers all over them.

Liz Stinson from Wired encouraged, "Maybe it’s free donuts in the kitchen or maybe you have time to grab a drink with a friend after work." Whatever it is, focus on it. Whether you get to listen to a new playlist on the way to work, splurge on gourmet cookies at the supermarket, or see your work BFF during lunch, grab onto the moments that are pretty awesome during your Monday and let them speak louder than the sucky ones.

4. Extend Your Sundays

Sundays have the tendency to feel short because everyone is hyper-aware that they're losing weekend-time and slipping back into the work week. So keep that feeling at bay by not letting Monday preparations bleed into the end of your weekend. A great way to do that is to get all your work stuff for Monday ready Friday evening when you get home — backpack, purse, clothes, whatever.

Entrepreneur and business writer Josephine Fairley from The Telegraph wrote, "If you want to extend your weekend as long as possible...why not spend 10 minutes getting ready for Monday morning immediately you arrive at home at the end of the week?" Keep your weekend feeling like the weekend by preparing for the work week ahead of time.

5. Don't Let Work Stuff Creep Into Your Weekend

Often times we feel grumpy coming back to work Monday because our weekend was interrupted with work thoughts, making us feel like we didn't really have a complete break from the grind. And if you're constantly harried by the office, you won't necessarily come back to it feeling refreshed and excited to tackle another week.

Rita Friedman, career coach, told Forbes, "When you leave the office on Friday, leave your office problems there and focus on enjoying your time off. Sometimes going back to work on Monday feels especially frustrating because you let it creep into your off-time, and so it never even feels like you had a weekend at all." Don't answers emails that aren't pressing, don't check in with clients or orders, and try not to tackle side-projects when you're feeling especially over worked. If you feel like you have the case of the Mondays more often than not, it's a good indication you're just feeling burnt out.

6. Make Monday Mornings Extra Special

If Mondays are extra exhaustive for you, get yourself jazzed by making the mornings more special than most. Wake up a little earlier and watch a recorded show, cuddle up with a good book, or just spend some time lingering over your fancier coffee in your favorite mug, allowing yourself to settle into a good mood.

Lifestyle writer Alan Henry wrote for Lifehacker, "The mindset you're in when you start the day counts for a lot. If you're happy and looking forward to the day, you're more likely to actually have a good day than if you hate being awake, hate getting out of bed, and hate the sun for rising. After all, your expectations influence your reality." If you let yourself start off the day on a relaxed, pampered note, you'll breeze into work forgetting you're supposed to hate the morning.

7. Work On A Project You Love Monday Morning

If spending some time with a new play list and a bubble bath first thing in the morning isn't enough to chase away a case of the Mondays, then go a different route and give yourself something other than work to live for.

Start your morning working on a side project you're passionate about or interested in. Henry suggested, "The trick here is to give yourself a reason to get up — a reward, or something you really like — that makes all of it at least a little more worthwhile. Something nice enough that you wake up and say 'well at least I'll get to X before work.'" Whether it's knitting, working on a DIY, scrolling through Pinterest for short story inspo, or working on your blog, remind yourself Mondays aren't all about your office job. Which means, Mondays aren't exclusively bad.

Shake yourself out of your stubborn funk and tackle the week on a happy, excited note!

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