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I get it. Mondays are a drag. Sometimes Sundays are even worse because you get this sinking feeling that “fun time” is running out and the dreary work week is about to begin.
But think about how much life you miss if you only live for weekends or your daily “writing time.” Whether you enjoy what you do for a living or not, I’m a firm believer in the idea that your attitude changes your experience. If you walk into work on Monday (or whenever you start your week) dragging yourself around and determined to be miserable, then it’s very likely you’ll be miserable.
Alternatively, if you head into work with a smile, greeting your coworkers (yes, even that one who always manages to get under your skin), and adopting an attitude of cheerfulness even as you clock in, then it’s very likely you’ll have a good day. A true optimistic attitude perseveres even when encountering difficulties throughout the day.
But just changing the way you think is easier said than done. How can you adopt an attitude that won’t only make you happier, but also more productive and successful?
These are some practical steps that I’ve taken to work towards this mindset. Some of them might seem irrelevant, but you’d be surprised how much these simple things can make a difference!
1. Meal Prep
How does meal prepping contribute to a healthy attitude? It’s actually pretty simple. By prepping meals in advance, you save yourself from rushing to prepare your food, thereby allowing more time during the week for you to relax before and after work. Having these moments of peace is important. You need these unhurried times to reflect and destress, which will then lead to a better attitude.
2. Reward Yourself
It’s important to reward yourself for achieving small goals as well as big ones! This will help to keep you motivated all throughout the day and week. These rewards can be small things: a coffee or a nap once you get halfway through the day, a piece of dark chocolate once you’re finished with work (and, bonus, it’s good for you!).
I also like to plan something fun at the end of the week as my reward for surviving. I might go out to dinner with my husband or take a trip to a coffee shop one morning. Having an event like this to look forward to – even if it’s something as simple as taking a walk through the park – is a great motivator throughout the week!
Giving yourself physical rewards is an initial step towards becoming internally motivated. With rewards, your motivation to get through the week is based on a prize, which is external motivation. Eventually, the goal is to make the motivation internal so that even if you don’t get a reward (though you can certainly still have them), you’re motivated to get through the day simply because you recognise that all of life is worth living well, not just the “fun” parts.
3. Make a Schedule
Life is less stressful when you know what’s going on. Before the week even begins, create a schedule for work and chores so you know what needs to get done on any given day. But leave yourself wiggle room and don’t do things last minute. Unexpected situations will occur throughout the week and you want to make sure your schedule has enough space to account for those.
4. Change Things Up at Work
Some of you have more control over your work environment than others, but it’s important to do what you can to get yourself up for success at work. Listen to some music, and if you already do, then try a different genre. Listen to something that boosts your mood on the way to and from work. Organise your workspace differently and showcase things that inspire you. Do something different on your breaks. Instead of scrolling through your phone, read a book or a blog post.
5. Think Differently
Focus on the parts of work you enjoy. There’s always something, and once you find it, you’d be surprised at how many positive thoughts you can find about work, even if they’re simply things that you’re thankful for. (Many people take something as mundane as air conditioning for granted!)
Don’t let yourself be caught up in workplace gossip. Immerse yourself in mutually edifying conversations. Treat all coworkers like you’re happy to see them. Look forward to lunch (although, who doesn’t?). Don’t see your time working as useless.
These aren’t steps to make you magically love your work. Instead, think of it as training your brain to think positively rather than negatively. It goes against the current culture, but once you start doing it, not only will your attitude improve, but you’ll also begin to positively impact the people around you.
Remember: time is only wasted if you let it be wasted. Start changing your mindset and just watch what happens.
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When you write as much as I do, you have to take frequent breaks from sitting. A standing desk (not a whole desk, but a mini desk that will sit on top of my current desk with my laptop, keyboard, and mouse and extend upward) will allow me to continue working while maintaining that good blood flow to my brain. Thank you so much for your support that allows me to keep producing free content. God bless you! ♥️ E.J.Donate