6 Ways Every Leader Can Create a Happier Week

I think Monday sort of gets a bad rap. So many people dread heading back to the grind at the end of the weekend. I feel blessed that I enjoy the work I do, so to me Monday seems like another day of fun, creativity and camaraderie as I collaborate on exciting new projects.

But I can understand the pressure of starting a new week. Many don’t have full control of the pressures that cause stress, be it deadlines, demanding employees, complaining customers or an overload of responsibilities. Here are six tips to give you back some control of your environment and make it more pleasant. They are good for resetting a weekly tone whether the pressures start first thing Monday morning or Friday afternoon.

1. Complete a Big Project

Leaving many things incomplete over the weekend creates a stressful start to the week. Give yourself the satisfaction of completion right at the outset. Pick a big project that has been nagging at you. Reprioritize it, call in the troops and go to town. It may take the whole week, but you’ll feel greatly relieved when it’s finally off your to-do list.

2. De-clutter Something

Coming in and seeing a cluttered desk or office is sure to start the mood of the week with a downer. Do something about it. Clear the next couple of hours and dig in. Organize your files, arrange your materials, file your emails. You may think this is low priority compared to the rest of your work, but think about how much time you spend searching through a mess to find what you need. When things are organized you feel more prepared and less drained. If you can’t do it yourself then hire somebody and free your mind of the mess.

3. Start Something Special

Beginnings have energy to them. They are filled with optimism and possibility. Make a list of things you’ve wanted to start but never gave yourself permission to begin. Pick one that matches your passion and set an action step for every day of the week. By the end of the week you’ll feel empowered. You’ll understand that you have the control over your own destiny if you’re willing to make it happen.

4. Make that Special Appointment

You know that appointment you have been craving? Or maybe it’s the one you have been avoiding. Regardless, set it up for this week. The energy from the anticipation will drive you forward. If it is about opportunity you’ll revel from the possibilities. If it’s conflict you’ll relish the resolution. Either way you’ll move a step forward and feel better for it.

5. Create a Learning Experience

Studies have shown that people are happiest and most fulfilled when learning. If you are just doing the same thing day in and day out with no mental stimulation you are bound to feel despondent. The only way out of that rut is to improve you. There are plenty of tools to expand your mind and improve your stature. Start reading a powerful book or sign up for a seminar that will help you raise your game to a whole new level. Before long you’ll look back on this day and wonder what took you so long to take action.

6. Schedule a Treat

Do something nice for yourself. Plan a special lunch, book an event or go to a special place you have always wanted to visit. It will make this a week to remember. If you are carrying stress and dreading the workweek, you most likely are not rewarding yourself for the contribution you are making. That leads to burnout. If you want a bonus mood booster, include someone else from the office in your special event. Treat someone who contributes heavily and yet appears to be under appreciated. The recognition you show will add to the higher morale of everyone in proximity for at least a week.

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Kevin Daum is an award winning and bestselling author of 5 books. He is a marketer, speaker, and columnist for Inc.com and Smart Business Magazine. As an Inc. 500 entrepreneur, his sales and marketing techniques resulted in more than $1 billion in sales. Drawing on his background in theatre and business, Kevin is a compelling speaker who has engaged and inspired audiences around the globe. Kevin is a graduate of the MIT Entrepreneurial Masters program and has received the Global Learning Award 3 times from the Entrepreneur’s Organization, where he held several board positions. Kevin has designed, produced, and led award-winning executive training programs and events for C-level executives and entrepreneurs on four continents. Previously, Kevin was named one of the 40 people to watch under 40 in San Francisco by the Business Times and in 2006 was named Distinguished Alum of the Year by his alma mater, Humboldt State University.