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These Little Things You Do Can Beat The Monday Blues But You Don’t Realize It

These Little Things You Do Can Beat The Monday Blues But You Don’t Realize It

If you sometimes dread Mondays with all those days stretching out to the weekend–that far out time when you can relax and have fun–then read on. That’s no way to treat yourself. There’s lots of advice available. For example, early this year Forbes offered 11 ways to beat (or avoid) the dreaded Monday Blues.

Here’s their list:

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  1. Identify the problem
  2. Prepare for Monday on Friday
  3. Make a list of the things you’re excited about
  4. Unplug for the weekend
  5. Get enough sleep and wake up early
  6. Dress for success
  7. Be positive
  8. Make someone else happy
  9. Keep your Monday schedule light
  10. Have fun at work
  11. Have a post-work plan

That’s a pretty serious list largely centered around your work at the salt-mine, which is not surprising in a Forbes article. There’s some good thoughts in that list, but they should be condensed into a much simpler list that reflects a better balance between work and all your other life activities. That, after all, is what LifeHack is all about, and a simpler list is more likely to be one you follow week in, week out. Here is an attempt at such a list.

It works around the idea of one small task to do every day. You may need to juggle the order to better fit any time commitments you have. However try to stick to the #1 task. You could even write the 7 tasks on file cards so that you can shuffle the cards and make sure you have an order that works for you in the week ahead.

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#1 Sunday Evening – Key goals for the week

Take 5 minutes to remind yourself of any important goals you may have for the week and which days you intend to achieve them. They don’t need to be big goals. Remember the journey of a thousand miles starts with your first step. Factor in that daily exercise you should be doing, however short. With this mini-plan, when Monday comes, you’ll have lots to look forward to.

#2 Monday morning – Make someone else happy

Think of the people you know and decide which of them might appreciate some kind gesture from you. It could be something small. Even saying hello to someone you see often but never greet can do wonders for their day. You hardly need to be reminded that you too will feel happier when you see how your action is appreciated.

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#3 Tuesday morning – Plan some surprise fun activity with your partner this evening

Surprises are always nice to receive, so your partner will find this even more fun than something they’re expecting. If you don’t have a partner, then get in touch with a family member, friend or colleague to join in something that gives you both pleasure.

#4 Wednesday morning – Eat a healthy lunch

You should be eating well throughout the week, but take special pains today to have a nutritious and healthy lunch, perhaps at some eating venue you don’t visit very often.

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#5 Thursday morning – Plan your weekend

Plan some recreational activity for the weekend and do whatever preparations are needed to make it happen. The only people you need to keep happy are you (and your partner) so make the most of every weekend opportunity you have.

#6 Friday morning – TGIF so do something different

Everyone tends to let their hair down a little on Friday, so make this the day that you do something very different each week. That could be a lunch time visit to a nearby art gallery or a quick round of mini-golf.

#7 Saturday morning – Make sure you get some exercise today

You should be getting convenient exercise every day, but don’t forget to include Saturday. The weekend is not a time to be a vegetable. Don’t sleep the weekend away. Rise early, enjoy the day and get moving with that recreational activity you planned on Thursday.

Although this is a short list, you will find you will tend to do more every day as you complete at least the task for the day. If you find some other daily task is more important, then why not suggest that in a comment here. More ideas can only lead to better lists. By developing and using your own list, Monday can be a gateway to a fun-filled week rather than the start of a same old-same old, dreary work week.

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These Little Things You Do Can Beat The Monday Blues But You Don’t Realize It

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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