Monday, November 3, 2014

Monday Motivational Series: Turning Around a Bad Monday

It doesn't matter if you work for someone else or if you are self employed, none of us are immune to a bad day. It really doesn't even have to be a Monday. It's just that most of us feel the impending pressure and implosion of time and space...on Mondays.

Here's the good news - you can turn a bad Monday around. These tips work best for those who work from home (because if you have a boss, he or she won't be appreciative of some of them). These are some of the things I do to turn a bad Monday around.

Go back to sleep. When I get up and I can feel that a Monday (or any day) has the potential to be a huge pain in my ass, I go back to sleep. Even a little bit of extra sleep can really help. It reminds me that I am lucky enough (and by lucky I mean I worked my ass off to get to this point) to be able to control my own schedule. Of course, I can't always do this. Sometimes there are deadlines or appointments that must be attended. However, this is something that can help turn a bad Monday around. I can neither confirm nor deny that I sometimes sleep until noon if I am the only one home.

Take a hot bath in the middle of the day. This is great for boosting your mood and gives you something to look forward to. I've been known to label my days pre-bath and and post-bath instead of morning and "the rest of the day." Turn off your phone. Turn on your music. Use a nice soap. Invest in some great lotion. Take some time to relax. You'll end up more productive later.

Find the good in the day. Even when you freelance or work from home, you can and will have a bad day. Your kid doesn't want to eat the breakfast he asked for (my current situation). Clients suddenly decide that their project is somehow so time sensitive that if you don't complete it right this instant that the entire world will be in peril...and Star Lord is busy in another part of the galaxy so all of the pressure is on you. By the way, all of your clients will do that all at once. When your day feels like it is going to shit (and shit is subjective to each person), find the good in it. Sometimes, it's hard and you have to use generic things such as how you are living the dream working from home and providing for your family...and you're not stuck in a cubicle. Other times you can be more specific such as how awesome your clients know you are because they continue to rely on you project after project...and clearly your work will somehow save the world from some sort of certain death.

Take a walk. I walk five days per week. I won't tell you which five because I usually don't know until the days arrive. I might walk today, but most likely won't do it tomorrow because of weather. At first, I felt guilty about walking instead of working. However, I can use that time to decompress and I also use that time to brainstorm and think about current projects.

Eat ice cream any time you want. It doesn't have to be ice cream. Pick your favorite dessert. Eat it for a meal. That always turns a bad day around. It's something to look forward to doing.

Start with an easy project. I am a big proponent of tackling my hardest projects first. I don't like things hanging over my head. Yet, sometimes it takes a while to see any sort of results or feel like I am making any progress. On bad days, I start with the faster and easier things on my to-do list. It makes me feel like I've accomplished something. It helps keep my motivation up and it makes it easy to move forward because I am seeing progress.

Those are the things I do that help turn a bad day around. What are your tips?

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Play nice...the hand that feeds you can also choke you.