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Monday morning is often the toughest time in the office. The weekend is over, another five days of work ahead… if you’re among the 69% of people in the UK who hate their job (Hitachi CIF), Monday morning isn’t fun. So what can you do to at least help make Monday mornings easier.

Plan your week the previous Friday

Take some time on a Friday afternoon to plan the following week, or at least Monday. This will massively reduce stress on Monday morning because you’ll immediately be able to see your list, and crack on. Things won’t be flying around your head disorganized, stressing you out and delaying you starting your actual work… which would just increase stress further.

This will also benefit you in your career overall – because by 10am you’ll have accomplished a fair amount, while your colleagues will still be getting back into the work groove and deciding what they’re doing that day. Kudos to you, come promotion time.

Complete the previous week

If you possibly can, (obviously it won’t always be possible, depending on your role) make sure you don’t leave tasks hanging over the weekend to be completed on Monday morning. That will just increase your workload on Monday and create extra unnecessary stress. Not just that, over the weekend you might have these tasks in the back of your mind, taking up energy and attention, and threatening your enjoyment of the weekend.

After all, you need to enjoy the weekend because…

Have a productive weekend

If the weekend has passed you by, you’ve not done anything interesting and productive, it can feel like you’ve gone straight from Friday evening into Monday morning. No time off.

Doing fun and productive things over the weekend can ensure that you feel like you’ve actually had a break. Drinking all weekend probably won’t do this, but spending time with your family, an evening out, even going away for a night or two, can help.

Sleep well (Sunday and Saturday)

It’s obvious that sleeping well will help us with anything we do the following day. However, sleeping only three hours on Saturday night (especially if you’ve had a lot to drink) will come back to haunt you not just on Sunday, but on Monday morning when your alarm clock goes off. You’ll still be in ‘sleep debt’, and be more tired throughout Monday than you needed to be. Thus, your Monday will be even harder than normal.

I’m not saying don’t enjoy Saturday night, but be careful of the effects over the following days from what you do. As I’ve got older, I notice it more than if I have a bad sleep one night, I feel it for a few days afterwards.

Pep talk

If all else fails – or even if it doesn’t – practice some positive self-talk on your way into the office on Monday morning. Tell yourself the good things about your job, maybe you have nice colleagues or you enjoy certain tasks. Maybe your job just helps keep you and your family in your home, a noble goal in itself.

And tell yourself how you can withstand anything your job throws at you. After all, haven’t you withstood literally everything it’s thrown at you already? So you can make it through Monday!