Garfield was definitely not a fan of Monday.
My brother and I loved those Garfield comics.
Our mom would take us to the library and we would check out all the Garfield books we hadn’t yet seen. Then we’d read through them for hours giggling and laughing at the cat who loved lasagna…and hated Mondays.
The idea that Monday was some kind of monster to Garfield made sense. And it connected with all kinds of working people throughout the world.
The weekend was mostly for leisure and Monday brought the reality that leisure time was over and the long work week was ahead.
Do you struggle with the Mondays?
Maybe there are some things we can do to get more excited about the first day of the work week and dive into getting some great work done.
Why We Dread Mondays
It seems pretty obvious, but let’s go over it anyway.
We spend our weekends usually doing things we enjoy. Not always, but that’s the idea with the modern 5-day work week.
It would be safe to assume that stress levels are lower on the weekend than during the week. And they probably pickup big time on Monday.
With the oncoming onslaught of tasks and requirements and all that go into work.
In fact, studies find that heart attacks increase on Monday. They’re lower on weekends, spike on Monday and then go back down on Tuesday.
However, there may be more going on…
Could it be more drinking and lax eating on the weekends that leads to Monday heart attacks? And it’s still the same with retirees, which is odd since they don’t have to go to work on Monday.
But maybe their brains are hardwired to anticipate stress in the coming week.
Whatever the cause, many dread Monday and maybe for good reason.
But this also presents an opportunity.
Where there is a mass feeling on a certain topic there is always opportunity. In this case, an opportunity to be happy, productive and get a leg up on all those that dread the start of the week.
It turns out that people generally look forward to and enjoy new beginnings.
The New Year.
All kinds of new things are wonderful.
Why can’t we have that outlook about Monday?
It’s a new beginning at work. A chance to do better than we did the week before.
But I get it. There are some things that can cause us to fall into ruts when it comes to starting a new work week.
But maybe there are some things we can do to change that.
So here are some tips for doing so.
Bill Gates said something to the effect that we overestimate what we can do in a year and underestimate what we can do in five (or ten or something like that).
And I really believe that.
I think one of the big reasons work can be so frustrating sometimes is that we expect more. We expect things to change and improve faster than is realistic.
We often get so busy in the day-to-day that we expect things to start happening when most good things in life take years, not months.
Even Microsoft is a good example.
The company came from humble beginnings in the ’70s. They didn’t rocket to success right away. They had some success in the ’70s and ’80s, but it wasn’t until the ’90s when things really skyrocketed.
Or even Netflix. They had the idea for in-home streaming, but when they had the idea the Internet connections weren’t fast enough and they wouldn’t be for several years.
So they got into the DVD by mail business. That was all well and good, but it had to cause some struggle as they waited for their real time to shine.
Now it seems like every home has a Netflix streaming account.
A good place to start when it comes to Mondays and work in general is to focus on perspective.
You can do anything in life. Things will change. But they’ll rarely change drastically this week or this month or even this year.
But focus on how much things change over years and it will help you realize how much of an impact you really are having in your day-to-day work.
The Stop Doing List
Another reason I think we get bogged down each week and especially on Monday is that we’re doing too much.
One of the big lessons to learn in life is that you can do anything, but you can’t do everything. Well, you can’t do everything well.
Maybe Bo Jackson can, but us mortals can’t.
Yet we try to do it all.
Over the years I’ve read quite a few biographies.
Successful people in various aspects of life.
One common thread was that most had a laser-like focus on what they wanted to achieve. They would get zoned in on one thing or a couple things and that was it. Everything else came off their to-do list. Anything that didn’t get them closer to their one goal was tossed aside.
Sure, a struggling musician working to write songs and get a record deal might need a side job to pay the bills, but it was only temporary. And it didn’t really take much energy. All the energy went to the stuff that really mattered.
And in business, the ones that find success seem to be the ones with the most focus. They get a goal set and they form their daily work routines around achieving that goal.
They read about it. They talk about it. They hire around it. They find partners. They do everything they can to achieve that goal and anything that doesn’t help that is just a distraction.
So before you go into work this coming Monday look at what you do most days. Think about what you want to achieve.
Then create a stop doing list.
It’s the opposite of a to-do list.
What is your goal and what do you want to achieve? What tasks will help you achieve that? Which ones will distract you from it?
Mondays aren’t so bad. In fact, some of the happiest people I know love Mondays. They treat every day as if it’s an opportunity. They’re usually focused on what they want in life and they don’t let anything get in the way and take away from that.
It’s a good lesson to learn.
Because what’s the point of going to work if you’re dreading it?