The Five Secret Things You Can Do to Make Mondays Satisfying

by Sarah McVanel, Chief Recognition Officer, Greatness Magnified

image of a woman sitting at a desk with piles of paper on either side with her hands up in the airHow do you start the week off right? What do you do if you wake up on Monday mornings, already feeling behind, not looking forward to the week, knowing that your limited time won’t be enough to finish everything?

Do you throw up your hands and give up? Do you resign yourself to the fact that dissatisfaction, exhaustion, and sacrificing free time are part of the deal?

Might there be a few small yet well-documented strategies from the research on motivation and satisfaction that could help?

You betcha!

Try this:

  1. Create a physical environment that is positive and brings you joy. If you’ve been working from home, either full or part-time, and your space still feels transitional, now is the time to make it you. Add colour, pictures of family, reminders of hobbies, mementos from your last vacation, and anything that makes you smile and reminds you while you’re working so hard.
  2. Nurture a meaningful relationship at work. Gallup includes ‘having a best friend at work’ as one of the 12 questions to gauge workplace satisfaction. When everyone went home during COVID, or whenever essential services workers were so busy they couldn’t even think straight, we lost sight of the importance of having a deeply important person in our everyday work lives. Sadly, with so much turnover, your person may have left. Or you may have left. Double down in building an existing or a new ‘workship’.
  3. Honour a deeply meaningful part of your work. If it’s a project, learning opportunity, mentorship, special client, or anything else that brings you a deep and meaningful sense of contribution, satisfaction, and accomplishment, make sure it never falls off the list.
  4. Remember the benefit of being able to work. As Pitbull says, “Every day above ground is a great day.” (Oh, the wisdom of pop artists.) Seriously though, rather than roll out of bed thinking you didn’t get enough sleep, there’s too much to do, and what frustrates you at work, think about how lucky you are to have a job, how fortunate it is you’re well enough to work, and remember that your skills are so necessary that you are needed at work.
  5. Practice gratitude. All of the points above point in the direction of gratitude. Why not write it down? What is something you’re grateful for? Who is someone you’re grateful to work with? Who is a client you’re grateful to serve? I like to do this with someone else (having the extroverted preference I do), and of all of the strategies here, it’s the fastest and most reliable one to shift my work mood (any day of the week).

image of a notebook that says Happy Monday on a blue desk with a red pen beside it and a cup of coffee and keyboard in the backgroundIf your Monday mood is miserable, Monday is not the problem. Nor are YOU the problem. Your work might not even be a problem. Perhaps your boss isn’t the problem! It may be a sign and an opportunity to recalibrate a few seemingly small yet absolutely essential ingredients in (re)building the work satisfaction you deserve.

You get one life. You get many jobs. You may even get many careers in your lifetime. Yet everywhere you go, you will need these things. So why wait?

Bonus Tip: If you have tried all of these things and are still #mondayblues, try this one last one: reflect on priorities. Do you have too many things to do that you literally cannot see the forest from the trees? Check out this IG reel about how I keep priorities clear so that it doesn’t sabotage my work satisfaction and effectiveness.

Check out these previous blog posts for more yummy ideas on how to make your Monday great:

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

– Mother Teresa

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Organizational Development, Purolator Inc.

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