It is Monday morning and for whatever reason you can not seem to get going. Here are 10 techniques to spark your mind at work and get your day off to a positive start.
1. Commit to a quick win. Think of a task you know you can get done quickly and do it. You will jump start your brain and get satisfaction from getting a task out of the way.
2. Take a break. You’ve been at work for less than an hour and you are already stressed out. Take a walk to a quiet place and gather your thoughts for 15 minutes. You will relieve some of your stress and removed from the stress environment you can gather your thoughts on how to deal with the issues in a productive manner.
3. Take a Gemba walk. Walk around the Gemba (the place the work is done) to see and hear what is going on. Take time to talk to your employees and help with any issues they are having. This will give you a good feel for how the day is going and make you aware of issues that need to be dealt with. You should do this everyday even if you are not having a mind meltdown.
4. Brainstorm. Grab a piece of paper and pick a topic you need to deal with. Just start writing and do not let your pen stop. Write down everything you can think of about this topic including issues, possible solutions, and any related pieces of information that pop in your brain. After 10-15 minutes organize your words in a logical format and pick out the ideas that have potential. You can act on them now or wait.
5. Plan for your Monday on Friday. Before you leave on Friday take 15 minutes to jot down ideas or tasks you need to do on Monday. Usually on Friday afternoon your mind is more at ease and you are able to think clearly. This will give you a good place to start your day on Monday.
6. Plan for your week ahead. Your week may be full of meetings and deadlines already. Plan for your week by creating a rough roadmap on what you need to get done. Write down the important things you must get done and prioritize them. Keep it visible during the week to be sure that you get them done.
7. Do not grab extra caffeine or an energy drink. While you may gain temporary benefits from chemical stimulation, later in the day you will crash both physically and mentally. If you feel the need for energy take quick walk outside if possible.
8. Laugh and smile. Recall happy memories or some jokes that make you laugh. Go to your happy place for a few minutes. Research has shown that laughter causes your body to release endorphins which naturally make you feel good.
9. Get an early start on the day. Nothing can get your Monday off to a bad start quicker than running late. You start the day out in a rush, maybe you don’t have time for breakfast or break your morning routine. Do yourself a favor and wake up earlier. Monday may be the hardest day to do this, but once you are up and going you will appreciate the extra time and arrive at work on time and with less stress.
10. But I don’t want to be here. For some people the Monday morning blues are a symptom of a larger problem. They are not happy with their job. If this is the case brainstorm on that topic. Why do I dislike my job? Is it time for me to find another?
Having a job you do not like can make every day seem like a bad Monday. You do not have to love your job, but if each day brings you serious mental stress and all you think about is how soon before I can get out of here, it is time to consider moving on to a job you will enjoy doing.
Summary: Monday is the most important day of the work week. It is also the most stressful. How many times do your hear “It feels like Monday”? With some practice and planning you can create habits that will help you get your Monday off to a positive start.