There have been times in my life that I’ve been unhappy at my job, and I recall that Sunday evenings were always the worst. The precious weekend was over, and now I’d have an interminably long work week stretching ahead of me like miles of barren desert. I’d start getting anxious around dinnertime and would have trouble sleeping that night. Sound familiar?
The good news is, if you find yourself dreading Sunday nights but aren’t in a position to leave your job, there are definitely things you can do to renew your enthusiasm, including:
Find something in the work day to look forward to: When I was in high school, I always enjoyed my French classes the most because I could anticipate seeing my crush. Look for ways to weave fun into your day, like having lunch at your favorite sushi bar.
Get yourself on a project with high stakes: Risk and competition are major motivators, and if your daily responsibilities don’t incorporate them, you may need to seek them out elsewhere. For example, can you get involved on a cross-functional team that’s developing a new product, or assist the sales group with critical new business initiatives?
Join a company volunteer initiative: There’s no better way to make you feel better about your own life than to act in the service of others. If your company has initiatives that you can step right into, take advantage of them and sustain your participation over time so that you gradually become more invested in the chosen causes.
If you’re a manager and you suspect that one of your employees is dreading Sunday nights, perhaps you can gently make these suggestions and coach them to a happier, more satisfied place. Sometimes people just need a change in perspective, setting or task to jump-start their enthusiasm for an employment scenario. Any motivation you can provide that doesn’t involve them leaving your organization is helpful!
Alexandra Levit is a Partner at PeopleResults and is passionate about helping people and organizations succeed in the evolving workplace. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @alevit.