Before I ran my own business I worked in a traditional 9-5 pm role and really disliked Mondays.
I’d get the Sunday blues very badly. Like VERY badly. Inner child throwing a tantrum bad. I then started my own business and thought “Great, I’m doing my own thing, doing work I love, helping awesome people, I bet Mondays feel different.” and they did… for a bit.
But then after a year or so they didn’t and I started to dread Mondays again. I spiralled – had I made the wrong decision in starting my business? Was I not cut out for this? Sharing this with a mentor of mine at the time changed the way I “do” Mondays. And this is how, in my seventh year of business, I still approach Mondays.
My mentor suggested that I ease into the week by taking the pressure off and going with my flow. If I didn’t want to work Mondays – why did I have to? The idea was revolutionary! Being my own boss and running my own show, I had the freedom to think this way and to decide how I wanted Mondays to be. How did I want to approach them? What would they look like?
I eased into this too. I knew that unravelling years of traditional employment mentality wasn’t something that was going to happen overnight. And honestly, sometimes it still does take a bit of inner coaching to stop feeling guilty years later.
I eased into my new relationship with Mondays by deciding that I would not over-plan them. I would start the day without an alarm and then see what tasks I felt like doing. Now, after many rounds, Mondays are whatever I want them to be. If I need a sleep-in, so be it. If I want to read and research, wonderful. If I want to attend networking events, great, if not, that’d be okay too. I book personal and medical appointments for Monday mornings. The effect has been that my work remains a passion of mine and the weekend-to-weekday transition isn’t as jarring.
I know that I’m in a very fortunate position to do what I just described. When I was in traditional employment I eased into Mondays using other methods. A few times a month I’d schedule a few breakfast catchups with friends before work so I had something to look forward to. Some weeks I’d go to a gym class that excited me to get out of bed. I’d save new outfits or combos for Mondays. I saved up ‘easy things’ and made sure I had time in my calendar blocked out for planning and clearing emails first thing Monday morning. These things helped an awful lot.
So whatever position you find yourself in, traditional employment or self-employment, for some of us, the transition from weekend vibe to weekday ‘it’s time to work’ vibe, will evoke your inner brat. Embrace this. Anticipate it, and incorporate it into your schedule and rhythm.
In a previous role (small team – strategic partnerships so had a LOT of meetings) we had a “No Meeting Mondays” rule. This made such a huge difference to our mindset, creativity and productivity. It gave us the day to clear the backlog, plan the week ahead, power through some easier tasks and socialize together. It really took the pressure off. Of course this isn’t possible for everyone & there were still some days we had meetings we had to attend, but it’s a philosophy I still implement for myself wherever possible.
Fantastic! Yes, building a culture of respect like that can be enormously helpful. I love that you’ve kept this philosophy going on an individual level too.