Feeling Down at Work

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Even though you may really enjoy your job, you will still have”those days.” I had one of them yesterday. It was, of course, a Monday.

Looks like someone has a case of the Mondays.

<iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/qwqD0ycLPxyG4" width="480" height="344" frameBorder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowFullScreen></iframe><p><a href="https://giphy.com/gifs/qwqD0ycLPxyG4">via GIPHY</a></p>

I also didn’t get enough sleep, as I was up watching the craziest baseball game I’ve ever seen, which ended at 12:30 AM. This was my own doing, and certainly did not help me the next day.

It was hard for me to come into the office on Monday really fired up and ready to dig into my work.

According to this study, Monday is the second most productive day of the week. That doesn’t mean it isn’t daunting and can weigh heavily on one’s mind. For me, it did. And this caused me to be negative all day. One negative piece turned into another, and so on.

While I did execute on tasks, I didn’t feel I was truly into it. I didn’t have the fire or passion necessary to be excited to be at work or, really, to spend time chatting with my peers. Getting tasks done is important from an execution standpoint, but it is a major problem just going through the motions. I don’t want to be known as that guy.

I know that this is not something that happens to me all the time, so it is really about mitigation when I am feeling down and lack excited. More importantly, it is about avoiding those feelings altogether, which is even trickier.

One suggestion my wife thought of as I shared my down-in-the-dumps-kinda day: write down everything that is positive at work right after it happens. Create a list of all the great things, the things I truly love or enjoy. And then when I do have one of those days, I can come back to the list and think about or do one of those positive things to help turn things around. This is a great idea! She also suggested doing something I enjoy (or setting that up): having a meeting with a mentor or mentee. Those meetings always help lift my spirits, so it makes sense for me to do that (or prepare for it) while I am down.

I don’t believe there is a fool-proof way to avoid feeling down and unexcited at work all the time. But in order to decrease the frequency, one thing I’ve found is to set up events that excite me. This can be a happy hour or a team lunch. Even just a 30 minute walking meeting with a friend who works at your company or is a friend outside of work. Or even an ideation session. Something to break up the day-to-day grind, which can often turn monotonous. While it doesn’t make sense to overload your calendar with these events, they are useful to have scattered throughout your day and week to keep things fresh.

The reality of all of these “down-days”? They will happen. To everyone. You simply will not be at the same level of excitement and motivation each and every day. I’m sure even the most successful CEOs and entrepreneurs will report that they cannot keep the same level of excitement and motivation on a daily basis. But, they know themselves best and can help mitigate and limit those days.

Next time you are feeling down, don’t let one negative snowball into another. Take action to turn things around. You are the only one that can do this for yourself!