How to survive Blue Monday, and all the Mondays that follow
Today is Blue Monday: the most depressing day of the year, according to research by Cliff Arnall. The phenomenon does not really exist, it was ‘invented’ by a travel organisation in order to sell more plane tickets to sunny destinations. However, sometimes Monday can still feel like a bad day especially since much of our work is currently done online. Here's how to turn your boring online working day into a great one!
Personal kickstart your day
Instead of commuting to the office, your day nowadays starts by opening your social intranet at home. You immediately see boring HR updates or questions from colleagues, but you're in the mood for social contact to start the day with an online meeting with colleagues. You can share a few personal updates with each other and check in on how everybody’s doing. You might find out that a colleague has a busy home situation or difficulties concentrating. But also that a colleague has bought a new office chair or redecorated his or her home office. It helps to emtoize with each other and to kickstart your day !
We have been on (video)calls a lot over the past few months always about work. Unfortunately the pleasant small talk sometimes gets left out. It helps to facilitate a more social oriented meeting. Think for example of a lunch appointment via Zoom or an online coffee break. At Plek, we agreed to discuss ongoing business twice per week, while the other three days people are free to discuss whatever they want. You can join and just have a chat about anything.
Let's change things up
In most organisations, the working day follows a fixed schedule: start at 9 a.m., lunch around noon and by 5 p.m. the working day is over. As an employee, you often have a fixed schedule too, for example calling your colleague at eleven o'clock or going for a walk at three o'clock. Shaking up your daily routine gives you more energy and that lead to more creativity and focus. Change your workplace after lunch or take a walk during a meeting (if you can, of course). You are then in a different environment, so to speak, which challenges your brain and makes it easier to remember things.
Behind the screen, the spontaneity usually diminishes, as we at Plek have noticed. So try something crazy, for example, bring the Friday drinks forward and turn it into a Monday drinks. Challenge your colleagues to come to the next meeting dressed up in a theme. Organise a complaints meeting, where you and a group can complain about anything for an hour. You name it, anything is possible! A meeting like this can give you a break from the daily grind.
We are curious, how do you get through your bad day?