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Dave Shrein


Avoiding A Case of the Mondays

Remember that scene from Office Space? “Looks like somebody’s got a case of the Mondays”.

I can’t forget it.

When you’re working for someone else, Mondays can feel like a return to making someone else’s dream happen.


When you’re working for yourself Mondays are days you can’t wait to get to… or at least they should be.

What you do matters. Whether you are running the business you’ve dreamed of or you are still side-hustling, waiting for the right moment to transition to full time, the work you do on Monday will be very important to reaching the next goal and becoming the next version of yourself.

How you prepare for Monday is essential to avoiding a case of the Mondays and becoming the person you need to become in order to achieve your goals.

How to Set Yourself Up for Monday Success

Successful Mondays do not just ‘happen’. Planning for a successful Monday is essential.

Here are a few strategies to consider in order to maximize the start of the week.

Leave Friday Work for Monday

“Don’t leave until all the work is done.” It sounds like an honorable mantra but it’s not.

Truthfully some work can wait and some work should wait.

Here is a very simple question you can ask to determine what work needs to be done Friday before EOD and what work can wait till Monday: “When do I need to have this done?”

If a project is not due until Tuesday of the following week, that could be a project that you put off until Monday morning.

If an update is not needed until Monday afternoon and it won’t take long to provide, that could be an update that you put off until Monday morning.

You’re balancing a lot and, honestly, there may be some Fridays where the work has to be done because Monday is always full. But on the Fridays where that is not the case, consider leaving the work till the next Monday.

Monday will arrive, you’ll be rested, and you will IMMEDIATELY have a few wins you can write down on the score card. The items you left from Friday get done quickly on Monday and you’re off to a great start!

Use the Weekend to Rest and Refill

If you spend the entire weekend working, you will deplete whatever reserves of energy you had at the work week end. When Monday comes, you will not have the energy you need to start the work week off well.

You need the weekend to rest. And it won’t be easy to start doing.

Using the weekend and ‘time-off’ to rest takes practice and before you can even practice, you have to learn how you rest best.

  • What fills you up?
  • What gives you energy?
  • What brings you joy?
  • What makes you happy?
  • What gives you fulfillment?

In order to rest well, you need to have a plan for what to do with your time off.

What works for me may not work for you — but as an example here are some things that really allow me to disconnect from work and enjoy my days off…

  • Organize my sports trading cards
  • Watch movies (movie theater preferred)
  • Take time to watch sports on TV
  • Sit quietly with my wife
  • Schedule time to hang with my best friends
  • Get out of the house with my boys

If I can schedule these items into my weekend, I am able to fully disconnect from work and look forward to Monday coming.

Prep Your Monday Morning on Sunday Evening

There is a difference between working on the weekends and getting prepared for work on the weekend.

Getting prepared for the work week may actually mean getting a lot of ‘home’ to-dos done so they are not hanging over your head when Monday arrives. Having unfinished work at home can be a big distractor and prevent you from getting a good start to your week.

In the same way, taking a few minutes on Sunday evening to map out what the beginning of your Monday should look like will help you get ahead right away!

For instance, if you have a mundane task that you dread every Monday, can it be done on Sunday evening? Just get it out of the way while you’re at home, watching Sunday Night Football — that way you don’t have to let it steal your joy in the morning.

As much as you can, control the flow of your Monday and that can include using Friday afternoon and even Sunday evening to make sure you’re prepared for success right away!

Make A Resolution for How to Interact with Unhealthy Conflict

For me, this one is HUGE! If I have interpersonal relationship concerns looming, it can dominate my thoughts over the weekend which leave me exhausted on two fronts: I am mentally worn out from trying to process the situation and I am processing the situation instead of doing things that fill me with joy.

Self-preservation, arrogance, lack of self-awareness, passive aggressive tones, and other behaviors lead to unhealthy conflict and, unfortunately, when you’re working with people you will find yourself in unhealthy conflict.

Resolve to interact a certain wait with individuals that way you know ahead of time how to relate to them, not analyzing every moment, using valuable mental power to manage a relationship that may never be healthy.

Your brainpower is valuable and the more decisions you can make ahead of time about what you will do in a certain situation, the easier it will be to go through the motions without expending precious energy.

If you’re dreading seeing a co-worker on Monday morning because nothing you do is ever good enough for them, create a resolution ahead of time for how you will handle the situation the next time it comes up.

Fortunately, everyone experiences unhealthy conflict and that means you’re not alone — it’s just part of life. Unfortunately, if you are just incompatible with certain personalities, there may be nothing you can do beyond resolving to not them steal your joy and coming up with an attitude of how you will act, rather than reacting to whatever attitude they may bring.

Plan to Celebrate At the End of Monday

You probably don’t celebrate yourself enough — and that’s all the more reason to celebrate getting through Monday!

If you have a hard time on Mondays (even with all the help we have shared above) do yourself a favor and add some extra motivation to your day!

Promise yourself a reward at the end of the day. It could be a stop on the way home to pick up a special treat from the grocery store. It could be spending the money to rent a movie that you’ve wanted to see. It could be buying yourself a coffee at 2pm instead of drinking coffee from the break room.

What you do is valuable to someone. It matters.

And even if you say, “The work I do doesn’t matter,” the truth is the work you do does matter because it brings in money and money helps you take care of the people and things that are counting on you.

Because what you do is valuable, take time to reward yourself. It’s nice when others will take the time to honor and reward you, but know that it’s perfectly okay for you to do it for yourself.

Look for A Different Job or Find Different Clients

Of course, if you really hate your work and you really hate the people that you work with, it is probably time to do yourself a favor (and everyone around you) and look for something new.

If you run your own business, it may be time to fire some clients.

I’ve had plenty of business relationships with WONDERFUL people who were really difficult to work with. Great people. Bad clients.

The truth is that there are plenty of jobs out there you would be well suited for and employers who would be thrilled to have you. Do not buy the lie that what you have is what you get.

It’s not true.

Yes, you may not be able to find a job doing what you really want to do that pays as much as you may want or need but you still have a choice to stay at a job you hate so you can have the things you want or depart for a job you want, knowing you’ll have to forsake spending on things you don’t need.

Failing to Avoid A Case of the Mondays

When you’ve taken the time to go through the suggestion above you should notice a theme developing…

You are the person in control of your situation.

Hating Mondays will not just fix itself. You are so strong and so powerful that you have the ability to influence exactly how you want Mondays to go. Unless you love being miserable (and there are plenty of people who do), you get to make the choice about how you want your day to go.

If you fail to plan for Monday you’re destined to have a case of the Mondays.

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