15 January 2017

Have you already got the Sunday night dread?lawrence jones verbier

Apparently tomorrow is Blue Monday – the day of the year when we’re all feeling the lowest. Christmas is over, so is the buzz of the new year, and now we’re just stuck in the cold, dank Winter waiting for payday after a long, expensive month, right?

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the negativity that the media spread on days like this and you end up feeling like you should be unhappy because ‘everyone else is’! It’s absurd. And, as a business owner, it can put a huge strain on the business.

It only takes one negative voice to sway opinion. It is naturally easier to share bad feedback and moan about things than to be positive and spread cheer. For some reason, it seems to be human nature. So how do you combat it? How do you turn it around?

I have a few thoughts below and I am working hard to create an environment where my team don’t have to experience these feelings and they look forward to coming into the office each day, but I certainly don’t have all of the answers. I’m learning every day how looking after people works and it is an incredible journey to be on.

Exercise

Exercise and fitness are essential for everyone. It changes your body, releasing chemicals that reduce anxiety and stress, and increase happiness. Even just a short run or quick game of squash or football.

I have felt the effects of not exercising first hand and know when I have let my routine slip and I’m not exercising as regularly as I should be. I have seen it in my team too – energy levels after the kettle bells class in our gym is always sky high!

Exercise is also an opportunity to take some time out to let your brain relax and wander. I often get my best ideas in the gym or on the squash court. If you’re feeling low energy or uninspired, getting moving is the best thing that you can do.

Put your phones down!

Not a bad view!

Not a bad view! Travelling and finding inspiration.

We live in such a connected world that it is easy to get drawn into the constant stream of news and social media. It is also easy to look at other people’s profiles and compare yourself with other users’ seemingly glamorous, better lives. It is also natural to feel a little low when looking at the bad news in the media at the moment! So put the phone down. Put it in your pocket or in a drawer, turn it off and have a conversation with your family, read a book or go for a walk. See the real world!

There are so many simple things that can make us happy and we, more often than not, miss them because we have our faces in our screens instead of looking around us.

Plan a trip

I love to travel. There is nothing more inspiring than visiting somewhere new and taking in the culture, sights and sounds. So much so that I am eager to get back to work after a few days on holiday and end up video calling the team to share my thoughts and ideas! Whether in a busy city, on a quiet beach or up in the mountains; taking time out is important to break the routine and prevent burnout or monotony.

Do what you love

It was Steve Jobs that said: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

It couldn’t be more true! You can’t be good at something you’re not passionate about; equally you can’t enjoy something you’re not passionate about. It’s as simple as that. Passion is a key component in Jim Collins’ three circles theory of business success: you must be passionate about it, it must make economical sense, and you must be the best at what you’re doing.

When I was younger, I worked in many different roles that simply didn’t inspire me. Yet my nature meant that I always found  way of doing the role my way and finding some inspiration from that. But nothing compares to the buzz of loving what you do. Working at a dynamic, fast-paced business with an extraordinary team, I am inspired every day.

Set a goal

Think about why you’re doing what you’re doing. Why do you work so hard? What are you working toward?

Laura Massaro and Lawrence Jones hanging out in the garden, planning for the future

Laura Massaro is a prime example of the effects on setting a goal – she’s World Champion and the top British female squash player

Along this vein, I’ve learned that targets and incentives to earn more money are great, but they’re not what really drive people. Training and education, personal growth, is, I believe essential for job satisfaction. Perhaps that is because not only are you learning and developing, you also have an end goal in mind – an exam or deadline to work towards and that is incredibly motivating. Could you set a goal to develop a skill or knowledge base further?

Having a goal in mind and written down, you’re always reminded of why you’re doing what you’re doing. You have a path, a reason to get up, look forward to getting into work on Monday and get stuck in to reaching that target.

I’d love to know your ways of beating the Monday blues, and if you don’t experience that Sunday night dread, I’d love to know why. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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