Pushing Through the Mid-Week Slump
As a runner, I have become accustomed to an unwanted voice telling me half way through a long run that I could easily stop running and that my legs can’t physically move a step further. While I have given into that voice before, over time I have been able to develop some strategies to help push through and successfully complete my run. I have found that this experience running is very similar to what many working individuals experience at their job mid-week. Around Wednesday, our minds start to tell us that we simply can’t keep working at the same rate at which we began our week and our motivation takes a dive. The best way to avoid this mid-week slump is to prepare ourselves with useful tools and strategies to push through the middle of the workweek. Here are a few strategies that I keep in my toolbox to use when the mid-week slump starts threatening my productivity at work.
Let’s make a deal: Rather than giving into the voice that encourages you to slack off mid-week, make a deal with yourself that if you accomplish a certain set of tasks and meet your goals for the day that you will treat yourself to a much deserved incentive. Maybe froyo and trash TV after work is what motivates you, or maybe the thought of hitting up happy hour for some apps and drinks with your friends will help you to stay on task. Whatever your incentive is, keep yourself honest and don’t reward yourself unless you successfully accomplish the goals that you set.
Don’t drag your feet: Instead of dragging your feet and pushing projects off till Wednesday afternoon, get to work on time and hit the ground running. By completing the bulk of your work in the morning, you aren’t allowing the mid-week slump the opportunity to wreak havoc on your productivity.
Get some air: If you successfully complete the bulk of your workload in the morning, use your lunch break to get some air and participate in an activity that will get your heart pumping. As a runner, I prefer to use my break to squeeze a quick run in; however, if running isn’t your style, try a nearby yoga class or take a walk and enjoy being out of the office. Not only will the fresh air and exercise give your mood a boost but you will also be less lethargic for the remainder of the day.
Start a tradition: One way to break through the mid-week slump is to start a tradition that mentally gets you through the week. It can be as simple as grabbing coffee and a decadent pastry before work every Wednesday or scheduling a weekly Wednesday lunch out with coworkers. What matters is that this tradition is consistent so that your mind begins to equate the middle of the week with something positive instead of the drudgery that we have come to associate with Wednesdays.
Pump up the jam: Just like blasting my favorite upbeat music can get me through a long run, playing music can get you amped and ready to finish your week strong. It’s important to remember that not everyone in the office is likely to have your taste in music, so grab your headphones before indulging in some workday tunes. I highly recommend finding a Pandora station that you like and making it your Wednesday work music station.
Get organized: If by midweek you start to notice paperwork piling up on your desk or your inbox filling up, take some time to get organized so that you can work efficiently and without distractions for the remainder of the week. Not only will your physical space become more organized, but you will be able to clear your mind of the clutter that typically accumulates by mid-week.
Switch it up: The mid-week slump can be partially attributed to feeling like your days and your work have become monotonous. If you continuously fall into the same routine, use Wednesdays as a day to switch it up at work. Try something new, take on a new task, or eat lunch with someone that you don’t normally eat with. By doing this you can beat the doldrums that often accompany Wednesdays.
As you are working through your week, make sure that you have strategies in your toolbox to beat the mid-week slump. Not only will you be more productive if you implement some of these strategies but Wednesdays may even become your favorite day of the week!