Almost everyone has experienced the familiar sense of dread when Monday morning rolls around. The weekend is coming to an end, and the thought of a busy week ahead is daunting and discouraging. There’s even a term for the anxiety that arises on Sundays when people think about the next day: the “Sunday Scaries.”

Mondays don’t have to be painful, however. By learning to embrace Mondays, leaders can set themselves and their teams up for a productive week. Thinking of the beginning of the week as a fresh start can lead to growth for management and workers.

A Chance for Self-Improvement

The start of a new week is an opportunity to set goals. Managers can write down what they want to achieve during the week so that they stay focused. A simple checklist of tasks is practical, or leaders can go into more detail by creating some SMART goals. Either way, it’s wise to plan out steps for each day to avoid feeling overwhelmed by a big project.

Mondays are also a good time to reflect on anything that didn’t go as planned the previous week. Instead of feeling frustrated by past mistakes, managers should take some time to reflect. By understanding what went wrong, an effective leaders will learn and grow from their missteps.

Encouraging the Team

If management is struggling with Mondays, chances are their team members are too. Luckily, there are some simple ways to encourage and motivate them.

Leaders can use the start of the week to show appreciation for the team’s hard work. That way, they’re starting the week on a positive note. A lunch outing is a fun way to get everyone’s mind off the fact that it’s Monday. The group will appreciate the change of scenery and the opportunity to share their thoughts.

Another way to show appreciation each Monday is to write a quick note to each member of the team. The notes should acknowledge something specific each person did to further the team’s goals. Managers can keep a box of thank-you cards on their desk as a reminder to use them to express gratitude.

By taking advantage of Mondays, leaders can improve motivation and productivity for both themselves and their team.