How Do You Get Motivated On Sunday?

Dreading Sunday Evening?

I recently had someone ask me how to get motivated on Sunday.  Great question!  My question is what do you need to be motivated to do?  I assume that when most people wake up on Sunday, they’re relatively motivated to do whatever is on the agenda for Sunday.  I assume that  the question is really about being appropriately motivated for Monday.  All of us have occasional difficulty with giving up our “off” weekend time to recommit to the structure and duties of the work week.  If you regularly dread going to work on Monday, and especially if you start that dread on Sunday, then it’s time to look at what’s going on.

Why Do You Dread Going To Work?

Are you dreading the start of the work week because:

  • You don’t like the work?
  • The atmosphere of work?
  • How you feel about yourself at work?
  • What you won’t be able to do?

Whatever it is, there are some things you can do about it.  Some are short term and others are longer term.  The first thing to figure out, if you can, is why you aren’t motivated.  That will help you understand what the best approach is. 

If you don’t like the work, then you need to figure out how to find different work (longer term solution).  The best way to be motivated to go to work is to do work that you love so much that it isn’t work.  Check out a previous blog post, Are You a Wanna Be, for some suggestions.  There are things that you can do, though, in the short term to help you get motivated.

  1. Reframe the way you think about work.  Figure out a way that the work you do now is a step on the way to doing the work you want to do.  What can you learn?  Who can you meet? Who can mentor you? What training can you get? What software or systems can you learn?  What resumé value can you get out of this job that will help you get the job you really want?
  2. Put something on your calendar every day that you can look forward to.  Put something very special on your calendar on Monday.  Have lunch with someone you really want to spend time with.  Block an hour to learn something new.  Read a book during lunch. 
  3. Plan out your next week on Friday and then set the plan aside until Monday.  Sometimes when you have a plan ready to go, you can relax and enjoy the weekend and start the week ready on Monday.  At the same time, you’ll work on next week’s tasks in your subconscious and may be further ahead when Monday starts.
  4. Understand the specifics of what motivates you and create an environment that is full of those things.  If you are a list person who loves to check off the “dones?”  Do you work for rewards?  Give yourself rewards.  If you work for approval, find someone who can/will approve when you accomplish things.  Create a motivation rich environment that helps you be eager to go to work.

If the reason you dread going to work on Monday is the atmosphere, then there are two things to do. 

  1. First, figure out what it is about the atmosphere.  Is it the people?  Is it the culture?  Is it what you are asked to do?
  2. Second, figure out how to change it. Moving away from the situation may be the long term solution.  Short term there are ways to get along with even the most difficult people.

Do you feel incompetent at work?  Do you feel like a failure at work?  These are frequently the reason that some people dread work.  Feeling incompetent is a completely normal way to feel when you are learning new skills.  It is not pleasant to be in that stage, but it is a normal stage, and it is relatively short-lived.  If you feel like a failure, you have to ask yourself–is it you or is it true.  If it is true, then take one step each day to turn it around.  If it is in your head, get therapy.  That is the fastest, easiest, safest way to solve that problem.

Is it that you want to keep doing what you do on the weekend, not what you do during the work week?  If so, what is it that you like so much about what you do on the weekend?  Spending time with your family?  Relaxing? Exercising? Working on your hobby?  Maybe there are some clues here about what your ultimate, dream work  should be.  Maybe these are some things that you could use to motivate  yourself (by scheduling more of) during the week.  Maybe these are some things you can set up as rewards to get motivated.  However you do it, if you’re doing things that make you happy on the weekend and not so much during the week, you need to fix that.

You Can Change This

The bottom line is that when you start dreading going to work, refocus your energy toward figuring out exactly what it is that is creating that dread.  You CAN have a life in which going to work on Monday is as fun as getting up Sunday.  You can create that life through deep personal understanding and by dealing with the situation in the short term while you work toward a plan for the long term.


Filed under Career Development, Personal Change, Reframe

2 responses to “How Do You Get Motivated On Sunday?

  1. Sean

    Jo, Nice artical. I’m so excited to get up on Sunday’s so I can go out to work on whatever project I have going on at the time, I get up at 5:00am some times. Right now I am working on a chicken house that I will be putting up in the spring; with just a half dozen egg layers (for now). It is the most incredible chicken house ever. Insulated walls, windows, heat fan/vent on celling, front opens up, special paint and floor coating to resist their claws, easy outside egg access, movable on wheels, Hilton House for Chickens… 🙂 🙂 But if not this it would be building furniture or something. A hobby, got to have a hobby. Since my wife Becky has gotten sick, she has lot her enthusasm for any kind of hobby, not good.

    On Monday’s I don’t mind going to work because I’ve been very lucky to choose a field that pays well and MOST importantly doing something I enjoy. That is the key, doing what you enjoy. Although I like to work in my shop more, I still enjoy solving code and data issues with our app. Been with the same product for 12 years and I take pride in working on it. I’ve also been lucky to be working 14 minutes from my home for the last couple years… that has changed my life. My kides would not get to do half the after school stuff if my work was not right across from their high school. I work at an SAIC office that is in a park!!
    Hope your doing well.

    Love, Your cousin Sean.

    You can pick your friends, you can pick your dinner, but you can pick your relatives!

    • jomcdermott

      Hey Sean,

      Good to hear from you! A Chicken Hilton, huh? I checked out chicken houses not too long ago–would love to have fresh eggs, but I’d have to air condition it in Oklahoma! I’m really glad you love what you do–so many don’t.

      Give Becky my love. Take a picture of the Chicken Hilton when you’re done.


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