Did you wake up this morning and think thank god it’s Monday? Did you feel joy?
Or did you experience the ‘Monday Blues’? That feeling of dread, tiredness and unpleasantness that so many people have come to regularly encounter on a Monday morning when they think about starting the working week ahead. If you’re one of these people, you’re probably looking forward to Wednesday. Hump day and the downward slide to Friday afternoon, the time when your real life begins. The problem with this is that on a Sunday afternoon, those familiar feelings of despair, anxiety and dread start to creep up on you and ruin your last few hours of weekend ‘freedom’.
I’m on a mission to bring joy to Monday mornings. A lofty ambition? Yes, but one that I’m passionate about pursuing.
My interest may have been ‘sparked’ by watching and reading the work of Marie Kondo, the famous Japanese organising consultant and author. If you haven’t been on Netflix and watched her series, I encourage you to take a look. If you saw my underwear drawer at the moment and the way its organised, you would be amazed. So much joy!
This got me thinking about joy and the work we do in corporate Australia. For me, there were many years in my career, when I was so thankful for Monday morning. I remember many a time on a Sunday afternoon when I’d be sitting by the pool, a wide smile on my face, as I thought about the week ahead. So excited for the next day. My kids would often make a comment about how much I loved my work and I did.
When my alarm went off at 4:45am on a Monday morning and I’d quickly shower and get ready to leave for work, often facing a 2-hour drive to our law firm’s training centre, I would be so happy and full of anticipation. Looking back on it, I was experiencing joy.
So, what is joy and why is it important?
1.A feeling of great pleasure and happiness.
Synonyms: delight, great pleasure, joyfulness, jubilation, triumph, exultation, rejoicing, happiness, gladness, glee, exhilaration, ebullience, exuberance, elation, euphoria, bliss, ecstasy, transports of delight, rapture, radiance.
How wonderful does that sound? What if we could experience this, instead of the Monday Blues?
At present, we are facing high levels of stress in our workplaces. The main stress hormones – adrenalin and cortisol, are literally ‘eating’ our brain cells, narrowing our focus and reducing our performance.
We are also experiencing low engagement. Research by Gallop finds that only 14% of workers are engaged in their job, showing up every day with enthusiasm and the motivation to be highly productive. Another 15% of employees are actively disengaged – not only unhappy at work but determined to undermine their employees’ colleagues’ positive efforts. The remaining 71% of employees fall into the “not engaged” category, they show up every day, but do just what is absolutely necessary to get through the day and no more. (State of the Global Workplace Report, Gallop, 2017)
In a time, when we are experiencing high levels of stress, anxiety and disengagement, is joy in the workplace the new competitive advantage?
So, how do we get to experience JOY on a Monday morning? I believe you need 3 ingredients:
If you can satisfy all 3, the outcome is Joy which means less stress, greater fulfillment and higher performance. More on these 3 elements in the blog next week! In the meantime, I’d love you to consider the difference joy in your working week would bring to your overall life.
What if you actually looked forward to returning to work on Monday morning after a restful or busy weekend?
What if you were excited about the challenges that lay ahead, what you might learn and the people you would connect with?
What if instead of Thank God It’s Friday, you thought Thank God It’s Monday?