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The Moan-day Blues: 9 Ways to Reprogram the Way You Think About Monday

The Moan-day Blues: 9 Ways to Reprogram the Way You Think About Monday

Monday. Moan-day!

The very word sends an array of negative emotions scurrying through the hearts and minds of people across the land. Last Friday is a mere memory, the weekend has come and gone, and it’s about to get real again.

It’s going down.

You have raised your sword to do battle once more with the start of the work week. You know that in order to press forward to Friday, you have to break free from the chains of Monday.

Oh Monday, why do we dislike you so?

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In 2012, a study was published in the Journal of Positive Psychology that concluded people hate Monday just about as much as they hate Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. They seem to like Friday okay, but the rest of the work week is pretty much on the same level as Monday.

Who knew? 

Monday has become universally known and accepted as the most depressing day because of the significant mood swing experienced between Sunday and the first work day of the week.

Let’s reflect a bit, shall we?

There are about 52 Mondays in a year, or about 1,248 hours. Let’s say you work for 40 years. That means you have about 49,920 hours that belong to Monday. That’s roughly 5.6 years.

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Over five years of our working life is devoted to, yes, Monday.

Five years of your life is far too much time spent disliking a day for something that it represents! So, Monday haters unite. Let’s throw down the gauntlet. We are going to change the way Monday is viewed. It will no longer strike fear in our hearts. It will no longer ruin another Sunday because we are worried about the oncoming Monday. In our best Scarlett O’Hara southern accent, we shall say, “As God is my Witness, we will kick Monday’s butt.”

As far as you’re concerned, it’s just going to be another day you have to get through in order to visit the beloved Friday.

1. Prepare for Monday on Friday.

If you have Monday morning work anxiety, be sure to take care of as many dreadful details that you can on Friday afternoon. Clear your desk, review your calendar for the next week, and handle any small projects that are due Monday morning.

When you walk into your office on Monday, walk into a clean office with no small tasks hanging over your head. Your only goal at that moment is to grab that cuppa joe and get busy meeting Monday head on!

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2. Have a hard stop at 4 on Sunday and shut down.

By the time 4 p.m. on Sunday rolls around, make sure everything is complete. Have the house cleaned, your work done, and make it a point to stop checking emails. Just enjoy it. It’s time to relax. If you work late into the evening on Sunday, you’ll never be rested on Monday.

3. Start the day with something that gives you energy.

Get your heart pumping first thing Monday morning. Go for a run, a hearty walk, or hit the gym. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain and they trigger a positive feeling in the body. It gives you an energizing outlook for the week.

4. Start the day with something that lifts your spirit.

Meditation is an effective solution to the Monday blues. Recent studies on meditation link the benefits of meditation to health, happiness, and creativity. Meditation can also have an affirmative effect on positive emotions, which reduces overall stress.

5. Make it a point to do something different every Monday.

Break the pattern of monotony. Get a notepad and start numbering from 1–52. Now, write down 52 different things you can do on a Monday. Then, start working through the list. Make sure each item is doable, but make sure each item is diverse enough to make you excited.

That’s a surefire way to step outside of any comfort zone!

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6. Have date night–with yourself.

After all, you are a pretty hot little number. Whether single or in a relationship, we all need time to ourselves. Take yourself to a movie, dinner, drinks, or check into a hotel. It’s a great way to enjoy your own company and block out the rest of the world.

7. Wear a new outfit on Monday.

What feels better when you get ready for work than knowing you are going to put on some snazzy new outfit? You’ll walk into the office like a Parisian model celebrating Fashion Week.

8. Take the back road to work. 

Get up early so you can take the back way to work. The back road represents back to basics and back to nature. In the broadest sense, “back to basics” means taking the time to refocus on the more essential aspects of your life that may have been neglected during demanding times.

In smooth times, we seem too busy to focus on rudimentary details. But, when times are tough, we should evaluate those things that made us successful and begin implementing those strategies again.

9. Peel back the layers on the onion.

This may be the most vital item of all. A shift in attitude means you have to understand the root cause of discontent for Monday. What’s the real issue here? Be specific. Don’t say that you hate your job. Narrow it down so you understand why specifically you hate your job. Is it your boss? The work? The commute? The culture? Your co-workers?

The question then becomes, what are you going to do about it? If you say nothing, you are sentencing yourself to only partial life satisfaction.

So, what’s your plan to change your situation?  It won’t happen overnight, but if you don’t start developing a plan now, you’re going to waste far too much time overcoming anxiety. It’s just not worth it.

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Last Updated on September 24, 2020

17 Ways Learn New Skills Faster and Enjoy the Process

17 Ways Learn New Skills Faster and Enjoy the Process

In the movie The Matrix, everyone was intrigued with the ability that Neo and his friends possessed to learn new skills in a matter of seconds. With the incredible rise in technology today, the rapid learning in the movie is becoming much more of a reality than you realize.

The current generation has access to more knowledge and information than any before it. Through the internet, we are able to access all sorts of knowledge to answer almost every conceivable question. To become smarter, it’s more about the ability to learn faster, rather than being a natural born genius.

Here are 17 ways to kickstart your Matrix-style learning experience in a short amount of time.

1. Deconstruct and Reverse Engineer

Break down the skill that you want to learn into little pieces and learn techniques to master an isolated portion. The small pieces will come together to make up the whole skill.

For example, when you’re learning to play the guitar, learn how to press down a chord pattern with your fingers first without even trying to strum the chord. Once you are able to change between a couple of chord patterns, then add the strumming.

2. Use the Pareto Principle

Use the Pareto Principle, which is also known as the 80 20 rule. Identify the 20% of the work that will give you 80% of the results. Find out more about the 80 20 rule here: What Is the 80 20 Rule (And How to Use It to Boost Productivity)

Take learning a new language for example. It does not take long to realize that some words pop up over and over again as you’re learning. You can do a quick search for “most commonly used French words,” for example, and begin to learn them first before adding on the rest.

3. Make Stakes

Establish some sort of punishment for not learning the skill that you are seeking. There are sites available that allow you to make a donation toward a charity you absolutely hate if you do not meet your goals. Or you can place a bet with a friend to light that fire under you.

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However, keep in mind that several studies have shown that rewards tend to be more motivating than punishment[1].

4. Record Yourself

Seeing yourself on video is a great way to learn from your mistakes and identify areas that you need to improve. This is very effective for any musicians, actors, speakers, performers, and dancers.

5. Join a Group

There are huge benefits to learning in a group. Not only are you able to learn from others but you’ll be encouraged to make progress together. Whether it’s a chess club, a mastermind group, or an online meet-up group, get connected with other like-minded individuals.

6. Time Travel

Visit the library. Although everything is moving more and more online, there are still such things called libraries.

Whether it’s a municipal library or your university library, you will be amazed at some of the books available there that are not accessible online. Specifically, look for the hidden treasures and wisdom contained in the really old books.

7. Be a Chameleon

When you want to learn new skills, imitate your biggest idol. Watch a video and learn from seeing someone else do it. Participate in mimicry and copy what you see.

Studies have shown that, apart from learning,[2]

“Mimicry is an effective tool not only to create ties and social relationships, but also for maintaining them.”

Visual learning is a great way to speed up the learning process. YouTube has thousands of videos on almost every topic available.

8. Focus

Follow one course until success! It’s easy to get distracted, to throw in the towel, or to become interested in the next great thing and ditch what you initially set out to do.

Ditch the whole idea of multitasking, as it has been shown to be detrimental and unproductive Simply focus on the one new skill at hand until you get it done.

9. Visualize

The mind has great difficulty distinguishing between what is real and what is imagined. That is why athletes practice mentally seeing their success before attempting the real thing[3].

Visualize yourself achieving your new skill and each step that you need to make to see results. This is an important skill to help when you’re learning the basics or breaking a bad habit.

Take a look at this article to learn how to do so: How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results

10. Find a Mentor

Success leaves clues. The best short cut to become an expert is to find an expert and not have to make the mistakes that they have made.

Finding out what NOT to do from the expert will fast-track your learning when you want to learn new skills. It is a huge win to have them personally walk you through what needs to be done. Reach out and send an email to them.

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If you need help learning how to find a mentor, check out this article.

11. Sleep on It

Practice your new skill within four hours of going to sleep.

Josh Kaufman, author of The Personal MBA, is a noted rapid learning expert. He says that any practice done within this time frame causes your brain to embed the learning more rapidly into its neural pathways. Your memory and motor-mechanics are ingrained at a quicker level.

12. Use the 20-Hour Rule

Along with that tip, Kaufman also suggests 20 as the magic number of hours to dedicate to learning the new skill.

His reasoning is that everyone will hit a wall early on in the rapid learning stage and that “pre-committing” to 20 hours is a sure-fire way to push through that wall and acquire your new skill.[4]

Check out his video to find out more:

13. Learn by Doing

It’s easy to get caught up in reading and gathering information on how to learn new skills and never actually get around to doing those skills. The best way to learn is to do.

Regardless of how unprepared you feel, make sure you are physically engaged continuously. Keep alternating between research and practice.

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14. Complete Short Sprints

Rather than to force yourself into enduring hours upon hours of dedication, work in short sprints of about 20-30 minutes, then get up and stretch or take a short walk. Your brain’s attention span works best with short breaks, so be sure to give it the little rest it needs.

One study found that, between two groups of students, the students who took two short breaks when studying actually performed better than those who didn’t take breaks[5].

15. Ditch the Distractions

Make sure the environment you are in is perfect for your rapid-learning progress. That means ditching any social media, and the temptation to check any email. As the saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.”

Before you sit down to learn new skills, make sure that potential distractions are far from sight.

16. Use Nootropics

Otherwise known as brain enhancers, these cognitive boosters are available in natural herbal forms and in supplements.

Many students will swear by the increased focus that nootropics will provide[6], particularly as they get set for some serious cramming. Natural herbal nootropics have been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic traditions to improve the mind and learning.

Find out more about brain supplements in this article.

17. Celebrate

For every single small win that you experience during the learning process, be sure to celebrate. Your brain will release endorphins and serotonin as you raise your hands in victory and pump your fits. Have a piece of chocolate and give yourself a pat on the back. This positive reinforcement will help you keep pushing forward as you learn new skills.

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The Bottom Line

Learning a new skill should be exciting and fun. Whether you use online courses, real world experience, YouTube videos, or free online resources, take time to learn in the long term. Keep picturing the joy of reaching the end goal and being a better version of yourself as continual motivation.

More Tips on How to Learn New Skills

Featured photo credit: Elijah M. Henderson via unsplash.com

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