Beating Monday Blues…softly
When we were upwardly mobile youngsters in Mumbai, some of us would joke after socialising on a Sunday evening — thank God tomorrow is Monday we can go to work and relax. But, Monday Blues is a chronic afflicting affecting a vast majority of working folks all over the world.
If there is any truth in the old adage — morning shows the day, then it may not be stretching the point too much and say, Mondays make or break a week.
I am one of those for whom the first couple of hours of the day are the most productive. But, it starts much before that — almost from the time I wake up, when I sort out the priorities and challenges that lie ahead. Therefore, I try to keep the mornings quiet. Hate disturbances and avoid hectic activity. Breakfast meetings are not my cup of coffee. I love to spend the commute time either listening to music or even taking a short snooze (call it power nap) in the car.
Arriving at work — the first hour or 90 minutes are “me time” — for updating the daily schedule and “to do” list, checking reports (previous day’s sales, production, dispatches etc) and assigning tasks to team members. Meetings — unless very critical — are taboo during this “silent hour” even calls from bosses are best avoided.
It works for me. Your biorhythm may be different — pay attention to your pattern and schedules to discover what best suits your temperament and work situation.
The same principles, I believe, can be applied for Mondays too. One of my early age professional role model was known for not accepting any invitations on Sunday evenings. If his wife and family wished to go on an outing — they had to do it by themselves. This was his time for contemplation — to harness his energy for the week ahead.
He would do it by taking a quiet walk by himself — perhaps, visiting a neighbourhood temple and sit there in reflective meditation for a while. Getting back home — have a light early dinner, read, listen to some music then turn into bed by 10 pm latest. And, oh — no alcohol on Sunday evenings, not even wine — as it tends to interfere with sleep. One needs to get up fresh and rearing to go on a Monday morning — ready to take on the week.
I had asked if he also uses the time to finish some homework (as we were taught in school). He said — to the contrary one should make a conscious effort not to fall into the work trap. So he would not allow himself to be sucked into reading files and papers or sending emails — to get a step ahead on the next day’s agenda. Whatever had to be done — was usually finished in the morning or afternoon — evening was the time to let the sub conscious take over.
And, finally — he would avoid taking early morning flights on Mondays. If he needed to travel he would rather get to the destination the evening before and get a good night’s rest rather than arrive tired and groggy — and carry its over-hang through the whole week.
Mondays can be the best and productive day of the week — when you start fresh in body, mind and spirit.
Go spread the cheer tomorrow at your work place — moving from desk to desk with a cup of lovely smelling coffee and an infectious sunshiny smile.