Dreading the thought of going back to work?
You know you’ve got them when that gnawing dread that started on Sunday afternoon moves to the pit of your stomach. As you head off to work on Monday morning there’s a sinking feeling that just won’t shift and when you think back, this isn’t the first time you’ve felt like this.
With an endless stream of back to back meetings, relentless emails to deal with and looming deadlines, the thought of going back to work on Monday is often the low light of the week. To make matters worse, researchers have found that Monday morning is the most common time of the week to suffer a heart attack and the link with workdread seems more than a coincidence.
Yet the start of the work week doesn’t need to be dreaded. Imagine how it would be if you looked forward to Monday morning as much as you do Friday evening? Even if you don’t love your job, it is possible to convert that sinking feeling by shifting the way you think about work.
Here are some simple ways to get you started:
Identify what’s within your control and forget the rest
Many people feel frustrated about things they actually can’t or don’t know how to influence. This includes the behaviours of others, the direction their company is taking or the tedious trip to work. Investing energy in these is wasted. The only person you
have full control over is you – including the way you think and act.
Decide what you want control over and take constructive steps.
You actually do have more control than you realise over many of the stressors that are driving your Monday morning dread. This includes your workload which can be successfully negotiated with your manager and others (when you know how). Taking time on Monday morning to set clear goals for the week ahead will keep you focused on what’s important and help you achieve more of what matters. This can be as simple as blocking out a sacred hour on Monday morning in your calendar for planning.
If your job really has ‘done its day’ and there’s nothing more to do or achieve, take steps to plan and implement your next career move. This could be as simple as identifying what you love to do and how you can best use your strengths and then researching all the options.
Notice what you’re telling yourself – it’s absolutely true!
Nothing has meaning except the one you put on it and this can be easily changed. If you believe your job is stressful, boring or frustrating, you’re right, it is. Yet by shifting your ‘truth’ to a more empowering belief, you’ll instantly change the way you feel about it. I used to believe that my 2 hour daily commute on the clogged freeway was a complete waste of time. Regularly stressed about being late to work or collecting my daughter from day care, I resented that freeway like nothing else!
Yet I soon realised there was nothing I could do about how slowly the traffic moved and as the alternative routes were equally slow, the only thing I could change was my attitude. Allowing an extra 10 minutes each day was a practical first step – if I
got to where I was going early, that was a bonus.
I also saw my twice daily commute as ‘my time’ – time between work and home where I could sit in my own little bubble, listen to my music rather than the Wiggles and reflect on the day that was. The positive effect of changing my thinking was instant and dramatic. I planned the day ahead on the drive into work; no longer took work problems home (they were solved on the drive home) and had regular, daily time to just ‘be’.
There are many other ways to shift that back-to-work-Monday sinking feeling. What’s your best tip for bowling into work eager and ready to enjoy the week ahead?