Style & Substance: On getting through the work week

Dear style & substance,

Monday mornings have become unbearable for me. I spend Saturdays decompressing from the week and Sundays dreading the start of the workweek. You will probably advise to start looking for a new job, but that may not be a possibility for me. Any tips to make it a little easier?

Let’s all face it, a full work week can be draining, and Mondays seem to come all too quickly! It sounds like you understand what weekends should be for, but you are unable to disconnect, reboot and enjoy the other aspects of your life. You bring your job home with you and let it effect your free time and possibly your family. Weekends or time off should be both enjoyable and refreshing and you might be surprised to find that in order to experience the positive effects, most people have to WORK at letting go of the work week and stepping into down time.

Rather than looking for another job, you may need to consciously explore your job duties/expectations and the time management needed to fulfill these demands of both the job and your supervisor. We would recommend a writing exercise to give you a visual guide of how you are spending your time. If you can begin to slightly alter or restructure your work week, with the idea of wrapping it up on Friday, you may find that this extra hour spent at work frees your mind up to begin the weekend.

The writing exercise can begin with a calendar or chart. Remember the gold star chart from first grade? (hopefully this was a happy time in your life) Using your job description as a framework, begin designing your chart. Have fun with this exercise, as you have enough grown up stress related to work. Now that you have a design for your chart based on your job description, you can plan. First, write down all of the things you do in a work day that you like to do. Next, write down the tasks that you consider essential to doing your job, then, create a list of tasks you need or want to do but always seem to neglect or complete in a minimal fashion. Lastly, create a list of activities that you consider distractions. You now have the material to analyze and complete your calendar or chart.

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