Why do so many people hate Mondays?
First the bad news. It starts when we’re little kids in school. Lots of bad feelings about homework, and pop quizzes, and being cooped up indoors, can ruin a perfectly good day.
Poor Monday has a pretty bad reputation among adults, too. Is there anyone who’s never called in sick to a job on Monday morning… only too happy to submit to even a hint of a sniffle?
Fats Domino, The Mamas and The Papas, and The Bangles all had huge hits trashing the first day of the work week. Blue Monday, Monday Monday, and Manic Monday. The Boomtown Rats made it plain as day in their hit song “I Don’t Like Mondays.” Are we ready for a vacation yet?
And what about Monday morning quarterbacking? That’s certainly never meant as a compliment.
Is there any good news about Monday?
There is, if we make some! Let’s start with the word itself, of course.
Monday is the Moon’s Day. How luminescent and inspiring! In folklore, “Monday’s child is fair of face.” Okay, we’re on our way to a rather pleasant perspective.
Yet curiously, I hear the same complaints about Mondays from business owners as I do from employees.
It’s a bit strange, because as business owners, we really do have the discretion and power to create what we want.
New options for virtual commerce on the Internet make pajama commuting almost as much fun as skipping school. Plus, it’s the environmentally green and economically smart thing to do in many cases.
Here’s the irony. We don’t have a “boss,” yet we become the new ogre, and our own worst enemy! We’ve got all kinds of hidden voices running mean little tapes in our unconscious, and we become our own bad boss taskmaster.
How can you solve the Monday morning doldrums— that desire to turn off the alarm and bury your head in the pillow? Two quick tips:
Tip One: Write your list of tasks for Monday morning on Friday at 5, before you knock off for the weekend.
Keep this list short, simple, and not overloaded! Put some tasks on the schedule for later in the week, so Monday doesn’t feel like a lead weight bearing down upon you.
- If you find yourself fretting about next Monday over the weekend, jump up, take a brisk walk, and put it out of your mind. Or note that thought as an item on the list, and trust that you’ll handle it Monday.
- Taking a real, conscious break from work will leave you better equipped after a weekend that’s given you permission to change your focus.
- Family time, or even roll-up-your-sleeves projects are fine, as long as you’re not grinding on extended overtime in your business. You need the break! It frees your unconscious to find solutions that weren’t obvious when you were knee deep in detail.
- Put your list where you’ll see it first thing Monday morning (on paper or in your online calendar) and then forget about it for the weekend. With a written list, you’ll get much better sleep, and tackle those priorities on Monday. This puts you in much better position for some real-time Monday quarterbacking.
Tip Two: Do not schedule important meetings with clients, or your financial team, for first thing Monday morning.
- If necessary, come in 2 hours later than you usually do on Mondays to give yourself permission to enjoy the sense of freedom you wanted in working for yourself. Let this work itself deep into your psyche, where it will remove any lingering resentment patterns you may have.
- In short order— the amount of time will vary with each person— you’ll have banished the Monday Morning Blues. It works like a charm. You might even get the added bonus of reclaiming your original passion, or finding new delight, in running your own business.
What this isn’t: This isn’t a time management system trick… it’s common sense. Don’t make yourself do the thing you hate most about your business on Monday Morning. If coming in 2 hours later, or planning your big meeting for a Tuesday is going to lighten you up, by all means do it!
A few months ago a client confided in me that she was ready to give up on her business practice. When I asked, she confirmed that Mondays were driving her crazy. We put our heads together to logically lay out her options. Once she gave herself permission to change her Monday routine, the weight of the world dropped from her shoulders.
Without the Monday blahs, she quickly started each week fresher and more relaxed. She took on two new entrepreneurial tasks projects, which enhanced her professional stature considerably, and her thoughts of quitting her business disappeared like a passing cloud.
One more hint: Don’t feel you have figure all this out you own. It sounds simple enough, when you’re hearing someone else’s story. But when it’s your inner doldrums, getting an outside view can make all the difference. You may need some acknowledgement, or encouragement to start your shift away from “Just Another Manic Monday.”
— Diane A. Curran