“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love… Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.” – Steve Jobs
Sunday scaries, anyone? This weekend I happened to come across an article that talked about how the majority of workers and students are often seized by anxiety, dread and sadness that the weekend is ending and Monday is on the way. The uncertainty and the dread of the new week can effectively consume and ruin the whole Sunday. Have you ever experienced that? I have. It can be something as simple as, “Oh no, I need to get ready for that thing on Monday!” Or it can be, “I wonder what new monster or demon is waiting for me in my inbox or possessed some time slot on my calendar?”
Living for the weekend? I have fond memories of a security guard in one of our offices who loved to remind everyone on their way to the elevator, how many days we had until Friday. His sympathy for the first of the week and growing enthusiasm past “hump day” was simply delightful. I always looked forward to seeing his smiling face, regardless of the day. He was channeling the feeling that so many of us felt, counting down the days until the freedom of the weekend. But, if we measure our quality of life by the 2 of 7 days, we are only living 29% of our potential.
I love working for a company that creates happiness. What we do is great work. The magic we ship delights, informs, entertains and inspires people all over the world. More importantly, I love working with our amazing teams. So, why do we face the Sunday scaries? I noticed that there were things I could do to minimize if not remove those scaries. I’m still learning and adjusting, but I wanted to share with you some of the tricks I found to help make the workweek more like the weekend.
Plan. The biggest spike of anxiety for me was a sense of being unprepared for the week. At first, I started logging in on the weekend to prep for the week. This was a bad idea. Not only were the scaries robbing my joy on Sunday, I was suddenly working 7 days a week and setting a terrible example for my team. I changed. I started investing time on Friday, including booking time for myself to go through the following week. I look through and adjust meetings. I create new meetings and add planning time to give myself time to review each day before it gets started. If I need to work on a project the following week, I will create a “placeholder” template document or start a list of “to do” items. I also ensure I create space on my schedule for the following week to start the day with reflection, review and preparation.
Transform dread into anticipation. I try to schedule some “fun” activities each week, and especially on Monday. I also realized I was overbooking myself, not just on the weekdays but on the weekends as well. I had to learn to be compassionate with myself, pacing my activities and treating myself with some leisure time. Those things along with the planning, made an incredible difference for me. I rarely dread Monday now and even have some sense of positive anticipation, wanting to dive into things I am ready to take on. To be fair, there are still moments the scaries return, but they are fewer and easier to defeat.
How do you deal with Sunday scaries? I would love to hear your own experiences and any discoveries you have made. We are part of something special. Let’s keep doing great things, and help vanquish the Sunday scaries along the way!