Blue Monday, January 21, is known for being the least motivated day of the year. Sue Andrews, senior HR professional and fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, looks at how you can prepare ahead of time to be ready for when that lack of motivation hits.
Mondays are never easy, you’ve enjoyed having some ‘you’ time at the weekend and now have to get back to the daily grind. You feel tired and lack inspiration but maybe it’s not your fault. First published in 2005, Blue Monday is the name given to a day in January that is claimed to be the most depressing day of the year. The date takes several factors into consideration including: weather, debt, time passed since Christmas, low motivation levels and failing New Year’s resolutions. It usually occurs on the third Monday in January when you are supposedly feeling you’re most vulnerable.
With all of the doom and gloom setting in, it can be hard to motivate yourself to even get up and go to work, but with these tips from Sue Andrews, you might just survive Blue Monday a little easier.
Things you can do
Start your morning with a catch-up meeting with colleagues
Sometimes when you get to work in the morning you can often forget what you were doing yesterday and what you need to do today, making you procrastinate for a while as you sort things out. It can be really useful to have a quick 10-minute chat with your colleagues to set out a game plan for the day, so everyone is clear on their goals. You can also write this out into a list and predict how long each task will take so you can give yourself a rough plan for the day.
Implement the ‘two-minute’ rule
Entrepreneur, Steve Olenski has the theory that if any tasks pop up throughout the day that will take you two minutes or less to complete, you should do them straight away. This way you will get everything done more efficiently and it will take less time than piling them all up and doing them all later.
Set yourself deadlines
A lot of people, understandably, find deadlines stressful but they can be a really useful way of keeping you on track and your mind focused. You can also tell your colleagues of your deadlines to give yourself a little bit more of a motive to stick to them.
Things your employer can do
Introduce productivity related bonuses
Giving some form of financial stake in the business can be a powerful way to motivate staff. If productivity and therefore profit increases, they will see the direct benefit. This could, for example, be via a share option where staff would have a genuine stake in the company’s success. Alternatively, you could offer a productivity induced bonus system. For example, if the company’s productivity output increases by a certain percentage then staff receive a bonus.
Allow your staff adequate breaks
Even though it may sound counter-productive, encouraging staff to take adequate breaks and to use their annual leave entitlement will massively help productivity levels. Staff who are overworked will inevitably burn-out and productivity levels will fall as staff become tired and unable to concentrate as well as they could. You should also encourage staff to take extra care of their health, especially around this time of year where colds are even more common, as good health will have a positive impact on peoples’ ability to work effectively.
Delegate, give responsibility and welcome ideas
The first important thing is not to micromanage your staff. Not only can this waste valuable management time, but it can become frustrating and counter-productive to those staff members who work better with some space. Alongside this, it may help to delegate and give additional responsibilities to certain employees. Some people work better with increased ownership and the feeling that their opinions and ideas are welcomed and important.
For more productivity tips about how to beat the Monday Blues, click here.
If you have any helpful hints or tips to try and keep you upbeat and productive on a Monday morning, please contact us on Instagram: @PALifeMag