Thank Goodness It’s Monday

As life goes on, you soon realize a truth: weekends are shockingly fleeting things. You resist planning much for your time off — not wanting to replicate the madness of week days — but then Sunday afternoon arrives and you’re stuck with a sad sense of not having done much. One of the most common time problems I’ve discovered in conversations with people about this topic is that malady known as the Sunday night blues. As a student, you realize all the homework you didn’t do yet. In the working world, you start bracing for the stress of Monday morning. The commute. The meetings. The nagging bold font on unopened emails.

There are two ways to battle the Sunday night blues. The first is purely tactical: schedule something fun for Sunday nights. That way you spend Sunday morning and afternoon anticipating your fun, rather than dreading Mondays. I’ve found that Sunday early evenings are a great time for parties. They’re low-key, and people tend to be available in a way that kid sports and other such things preclude on Saturdays or Sunday afternoons. Saturday night dinner parties involve the fine china. Sunday night dinner parties are the province of paper plates. We had family over last night and spent the evening catching fireflies and roasting s’mores. Net result? I couldn’t even start thinking about work stuff until about 10 p.m.

The second method is harder, but in the long run is even more effective. Sure, all jobs involve some less-than-blissful tasks, but why not figure out what, exactly, is making you dread Mondays? Maybe you like your job, but don’t like the commute. Maybe you like your work, but don’t like your colleagues. Maybe you love your colleagues, but find the content of your work dull. Try to pinpoint it, and see if you can change it. In the history of humanity, someone has negotiated the ability to work from home on Mondays. Someone has lobbied to get assigned to a different team and succeeded. Why not you?

Do you look forward to Mondays? Why or why not?

In other news:

  • Folks coming over from Yahoo Small Business, and the Yahoo home page — welcome! You were likely directed straight to the post on what I do before breakfast (from last month). To answer one of the most common questions posted in the comments, “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast” is also available from Barnes & Noble (Nook), and for other e-readers (like iPad). I only had the Amazon link at the time, so that’s what’s in that post. If you don’t own an e-reader, you can still get the book by downloading the free Kindle app from Amazon, and then ordering the book to read in your browser. 
  • There is no paper copy available of the book at this time. But it’s short! I promise it won’t strain your eyes too much to read it in e-reader form.
  • The book is now available through Amazon in the UK and Australia.

Photo courtesy flickr user kreg.steppe

13 thoughts on “Thank Goodness It’s Monday

  1. I’ve made my Mondays into Maintenance Mondays, and I love it. From putting out the recyclables, to dead-heading my container flowers, I try to take care of things that are just maintenance. It’s great to get all those little things taken care of at the beginning of the week, and leave the rest of the week for other projects. It helps me feel free, and prepared. I just wish I had this enlightenment 20 years ago…

    1. @Leslie- fascinating! I tend to find that Mondays are best for the big projects I’m trying to move forward on. Then I put maintenance things in the rest of the week. I worry that maintenance stuff would take over my time and I’d never get to the big things if I started with that. Same thing for starting the day — I worry if I start with email and little things I’ll never get to the big stuff that requires concentration. Guess different people do things differently…

  2. This is interesting — I find I need to do the exact opposite. It really depends on your personality, I suppose. I suspect working in the house/out of the house may factor in as well.

    I try and plan fun up to about Sunday at 4 p.m. At that time, we try and make sure we are back in the house. As a family, we start prepping for the week ahead (e.g., bulk cooking, picking clothes for the week, picking the clutter). My husband and I feel much better starting the week that way. We used to plan fun on Sunday afternoon and evening, but we felt so disorganized heading into Monday that it added to the stress.

    1. We do this too, but unfortunately now I kind of dread Sunday evenings—all the chores bunched together, prematurely ending the weekend fun! With 2 little ones and both parents working full-time we can’t NOT do these chores—we want home-cooked food, clean clothes, and less hassle in the mornings (i.e. organization).
      I had an epiphany this weekend and am seriously considering whether I can shorter my workweek and take Mondays off just to have time to do all the chores that eat up our weekend family time. I might experiment with it this summer & see if it is do-able. My worry is either that I wouldn’t be able to work 10 productive hours in a row the other 4 days OR I’d goof off on Mondays and not actually help ease the chore load….so I guess its me against my own willpower & motivation!

      1. @Ana- I’m not sure I’d want to use a day off work for chores… Is there a way to minimize the cooking/cleaning/laundry? All our meals are incredibly simple partly for the reason that I don’t want to spend weekend nights cooking. Plus, if you were home on Monday to do chores, it seems like most of the chores would fall to you because you’re the person with the chore day. Maybe that’s the split you want, but I don’t know…

        1. I think our chores are pretty minimal—we outsource our cleaning, and cook very simple meals…but because of our schedules we simply DO NOT have time (and, frankly, motivation) to cook on the weekdays for dinner. So we pre-make ONE BIG MEAL to eat every night for the week. Not for most people but has been working for us for years. With a baby eating purees and a toddler requiring millions of containers full of little snacks/meals for daycare, and packing healthy pre-made salads for our own lunches…the whole thing adds up. We stress a lot on the weekend because of all the little/big things we need/want to do…
          I’ve had friends that work part time just to have that one day off to catch up, and I can see that working for us—it wouldn’t be all “work”—I would include things like working out (maybe a earlier evening yoga class), shopping for myself, grooming (pedicures, hair cuts), and hobbies (sewing, baking) in that day, to make it a chore/fun day…
          In terms of equality, I think it’d work best if my husband and I alternated this—every other week. I don’t know, it sounds heavenly to me, to fold laundry quietly on a Monday afternoon instead of late Sunday night when I want to go to bed or to cook a meal leisurely while listening to a podcast instead of rushing around cutting corners and worrying about little hands reaching the stove…

          1. @Ana- One of the reasons we wound up going from daycare to nanny when the second baby came was the madness of packing little bits of food in little containers every morning. We’d bicker about making up the bottles and containers of cereal. But yes, I think there is something about working at home at least that makes one feel less chore-time-pressed. I make sure not to do things like laundry or cooking while I’m working but I guess since I know I could, I feel less stress about it than if I were somewhere else.

    2. @WashGirl – I think planning fun up until 4pm still qualifies as taking most of Sunday. I wind up working many Sunday evenings after the kids go to bed to get ready for the week – so in general my planned activities stop before 10pm, but this week was different.

  3. When I had a traveling consulting job, I used to HATE mondays because inevitably it meant getting up at dark:thirty to catch a flight and then go straight to work for a full day. I can’t even imagine doing that now!

    I’m like @WashGirl – I can’t schedule something fun for late Sunday because I don’t have my time to prep for the week ahead. No huge chores, just little things like throwing oatmeal into the crockpot, processing the past week’s digital photos (I do a weekly scrapbook so I need to keep on top of this) and maybe a little crafting time.

    That seems to be a good balance of chore-like stuff and also fun-for-me stuff, so Monday doesn’t seem as awful. And honestly, I have it pretty easy since I work only about 3 hours on Mondays anyway.

    1. @ARC- if you like crafting time, then that qualifies as planning something fun for Sunday night. But yes, a 3-hour workday is a good way to ease into the week 🙂

  4. Industrial society seems to have created this “monday malady”! We just hate cutting short our weekend. Ironically, because there’s a Monday, it is easy to explain why we are constantly in anticipation of Friday. Fridays resonate with me, bec it is always the start of a blissful weekend! 😉

  5. I like to take my kids Sunday until 2 or 3 and then would in an ideal world give them to hubby or someone else until 7 or 8 and do work or read a book… I like to work 3 to 5 hours on a Sunday in case of things that come up during the week etc.

    1. I don’ t cook or clean at all our I try to do it as little as possible… I do try to get rid of clutter and I let my kids eat kids meal from mcdonalds whenever I just can’t handle packing another snack.. they are $3 in many areas, include apples and low fat chocolate milk and I do it way less than my own mother did.. some folks on here I think need to relx their standards a bit if sunday is a stressor of what I need to do to make the week go … my kids have no bedtime and I think we are all fine .. i let them wear clothes more than once even if they aren’t totally clean etc. I shower them at the pool after a swim whenever I can etc

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