We’ve all been there — You started off Monday with a big burst of sweet motivation; when Tuesday rolled around, you got into a rhythm of a new project; but by the time Wednesday arrived, you found it hard to even get out of your pajamas.
It’s 11 am and the only progress you’ve made is scrolling halfway down the page of your favorite meme account. You’ve lost the gumption you had for your latest gig and you’re reading back messages from Monday afternoon thinking, “were they actually being a bit funny with me?”
Yeah, you’ve got a case of the mid-week hump.
Of course, we’re talking about getting sick and tired of the work week on a Wednesday, but as usual, the Urban Dictionary has more than one interpretation.
Never fear. If it’s got to 3 pm and you’ve still not showered, there are more than a few things you can do to get back on the horse.
See the Great Outdoors and Get Grafting in the Garden
Working from home is tough (although it does come with its own unique benefits). So if the sight of your home office is getting a bit too familiar, it’s time to take your business elsewhere.
Taking a walk to clear your mind is always a good remedy for any case of the grumps, but it’s not always that easy.
We get it. With clients to keep updated, projects to progress, and the overwhelming guilt that every entrepreneur deals with on the daily, prancing about the park doesn’t seem like the obvious solution.
What if you could take your work outdoors and get grafting in the garden? Try making those client calls using a virtual phone number and make legitimate headway with your workload while walking the dog.
Take the Day Off – After All, It’s up to You
If you’re feeling like a lost cause — in other words, if it’s past 4 pm and you’ve got nothing to show for it — do everybody a favor and take the day off.
The chances are that if you work from home, you work on your own schedule. If this is the case, sometimes it’s better to cut your losses and laze around when you’re not feeling it.
While the “long weekend” is a more accepted practice, experts say taking Wednesdays off can be hugely beneficial. This 24-hour vacation can be the perfect way to reset, reenergize, and return to work with vigor.
After all, if you’re not producing quality work, you’re wasting both your own and your client’s time. Work when you feel like it and rest when you need to (even if that happens on hump day).
Get Social with Strangers in a Coworking Space
Working in isolation can help you to get some genius work done. Plenty of famous introverts, including Bill Gates, Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein, prove this theory to be true.
But spending time in solitude can be maddening after a while. If you’ve spent Monday as the only member of your team and Tuesday as a total hermit — without even so much as sending a Slack message — it’s probably time to get social in a communal or coworking environment.
If there is “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” of being your own boss, working on your own has to be the ugly part. If we were all in a Sims game, at this point, the social bar hovering above your head would be on red alert. So get social with some strangers and vow to yourself that you’ll engage in some form of interaction with another human being at least once a week (even if it’s just to order a coffee).
In most cities, you can pay a full or half-day rate at a coworking space. If that seems like one step too far, you can, of course, simply splurge on a Starbucks cappuccino. There’s no excuse not to get out into the world for a bit of good old social interaction — and you can always retreat back under the bed covers afterward.
Stick to a Strict Schedule (If That’s Your Jam)
Warning: this next tip doesn’t work for everyone, but if you like to follow the rules, setting some strict guidelines might keep your motivation topped up throughout the week.
Looking at the likes of Casey Neistat and Elon Musk, you might think “how the hell do they always stay so motivated?”
Elon Musk heads three major companies, including Tesla, while Casey Neistat is a YouTuber (who pushes out daily vlogs), the owner of a creative workspace and a dad to two children under three — yikes!
Aside from both being entrepreneurs, what do these two people have in common? A super strict schedule that removes what savvy business owners like to call “decision fatigue”.
Decision fatigue is the theory that we only have a finite amount of decisions to make in a given day, and if we waste them on trivial things (like timings, outfit choices, and selecting food from a menu) we’ll burn out and make bad choices when it gets to the important stuff. This is why Steve Jobs always wore the same outfit and why both Elon and Casey have unforgiving schedules.
If you want to avoid the mid-week hump, it might be as simple as regulating the decisions you make during Monday and Tuesday to stop you getting overwhelmed when you get to Wednesday. Wear the same outfit, eat the same meal, and stick to a strict schedule when you can, and you’ll prevent decision fatigue from setting in.
Just Get over Yourself and Put Things into Perspective
It sounds harsh, but sometimes it’s helpful to give yourself a reality check.
If you could use some tough love, take a long look at yourself in the mirror and put things into perspective.
- Still in your pajamas? At least you don’t have to wear a suit.
- Struggling to call clients? At least you’ve got some.
- Mad at yourself for staring at memes all day? Let’s all be grateful memes exist. Seriously — there’s a meme out there for every client problem you could think of.
All we’re saying is that it could be a lot worse. It’s also worth considering that maybe, just maybe, the mid-week hump is an essential part of life — how else could we experience and appreciate that glorious Friday feeling?
[About the author: Rory Whelan is a communications expert with over twenty years experience in consultancy, television, media and telecoms. Since 2012 he has held the role of marketing manager for eReceptionist, leading the product to become the favourite call management company for UK SMEs.]