You wake up with a sinking feeling in your stomach. It ranges from light sadness all the way to what some describe as “crippling dread.” You seek the scent and jolt only that liquid gold drink called coffee provides. Empty greetings and blank stares greet you as you wander aimlessly through your morning rituals. You murmur hollow replies. It is Monday morning. You have a week’s worth of work ahead of you. And you have no determination, no inspiration and, worst of all, no motivation.
Mondays can be hard. Even if you like your job, it can be tough to beat the Monday blues. The good news is there are simple ways to motivate yourself and your team on Monday mornings. NALP reached out to some of its members to find out how they motivate themselves on Monday mornings. Steal an idea or two and transform yourself from zombie into working human condition again so you can power through the week.
Monday Morning Motivation #1: Alternative Schedule
“The fresh start to the week is my biggest motivation. We work a 4-10 schedule (four 10-hour days), so on Monday the team has had three days to rest and recover from the previous week of work. That generally means everyone comes in truly ready to work with fresh perspective. As management, we work half-day Fridays. I think having that clean slate and plenty of rest is a great start to our work week. It’s another key to work-life balance for everyone.” —Terra Phelps, the handler, Utopian Landscapes LLC, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Monday Morning Motivation #2: Stay One Step Ahead
“I always want to stay one step ahead of the game; to be the best I can be for myself and the best I can be for our industry. That’s what drives me every day.” —Shayne Newman, founder and president, YardApes, New Milford, Connecticut
Monday Morning Motivation #3: Listening to Challenges & Success Stories
“Hearing the successes and the ‘what I learned stories’ about how we’re satisfying clients to keep Gachina Landscape Management one of the best companies in the industry motivates me. With “what I learned stories,” I give the managers the opportunity to not only speak about their successes, but also difficult situations that they’ve encountered and had to be creative to solve. The team can learn from these experiences. Many times, you learn more from difficult situations than from successes.” —H. Jaclyn Ishimaru-Gachina, president and CEO, Gachina Landscape Management, Menlo Park, California
Monday Morning Motivation #4: A Busy Schedule
“I love Monday mornings because there is always so much to do at the beginning of the week—and I enjoy that. I love running out of the door with my hair on fire which is exactly why I’m in the landscape business. There’s never a dull moment. Even back in the earlier days when clients were very stable, there was always something to keep you busy.” —Ben Carruthers, owner, Carruthers Landscape Management, Dallas, Texas
Monday Morning Motivation #5: Touch Base With a Key Employee
“I start each day with a phone call with my general manager Steve Miller. That typically occurs around 6:30 a.m. That is a call to go over the day’s plans. We review the plan and make any adjustments based on weather conditions.” —Robert Kraft, Meticulous Landscaping Inc., Waretown, New Jersey
Monday Morning Motivation #6: New Opportunities
“Every day is a new opportunity to reset—not just Mondays—and that’s what motivates me. Realistically, yesterday is in the past and today we have a brand-new opportunity to make things better, change them or go after something different. I love that famous Steve Jobs quote: ‘I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, ‘If today were the last day of my life would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.’” —Bill Dysert, owner, Exscape Designs, Novelty, Ohio
Monday Morning Motivation #7: Gathering Together & High-Fiving Employees
“Mondays are cool. I’m not always there in the mornings at our company. I often work an hour or two at home beforehand, but I’m always there on Monday mornings. That’s when I look forward to high fiving the employees and getting the week off to a good start. Some employees I even have secret handshakes with—and I think they get a kick out of it. We also have our safety talk on Monday mornings. It’s the one day that everyone is gathered in one place. We count how many days we are accident free—we’re in the 200s right now. We make announcements including birthday and anniversary wishes. It just makes it something to look forward to.” —Bruce Allentuck, Allentuck Landscaping, Clarksburg, Maryland