I Love Mondays
A healthy and realistic approach to apply to the first day of the work week.
Posted Aug 28, 2013
Monday has had a bad rap for quite some time. Have you ever wondered why it’s the least favorite day of the week?
Here are a few questions to ponder:
Why do people resent Monday?
Why do most people dread going to work on Monday?
Why is production and work efficiency rated the lowest on Monday?
Why do so many people have low energy and bad attitudes on Monday?
Why do people choose not to close deals on Monday?
Why do people avoid going out on first dates on Monday?
There is a single, powerful answer to all these questions:
Monday marks the end of fun on the calendar.
Monday is the first day of the work week, which means responsibilities are back in full gear. The weekend is traditionally filled with more relaxed and enjoyable activities, but Monday is a return to the real world and the accountability that goes along with it.
People simply have a hard time switching from their carefree weekend attitude to the weekday blues. It’s an emotional shift that feels a little like eating your vegetables.
I, on the contrary, have always loved Mondays. (I like vegetables, too, but that’s another story.)
I have made a conscious choice to understand, appreciate, and welcome the very first work day of the week. I felt enthused about starting the week; it’s my chance to get ahead, accomplish things, and produce results. Monday introduces a fresh, new color into my world. It’s a new attitude—the freedom to choose to pursue my goals for the week at work and at home.
That simple shift in thinking has had a profound influence on my life.
For many years, I've worked in the manufacturing industry. I've completed intensive research over the years on productivity levels and employee attitudes toward Mondays. It was actually a surprise to me to find out that most people strongly disliked Mondays.
When I would call a business contact on a Monday, I could hear their lack of energy and enthusiasm over the phone. In fact, some of my colleagues shared their views on Mondays when I questioned them.
“How are you?” I would ask.
Here are some of their responses:
“I will be better on Thursday.”
“It's Monday. What do you expect?”
“I wish it was still the weekend.”
“I wish we could skip Monday and go straight to Tuesday.”
Other comments pretty much followed that line of thinking.
Well, I thought to myself, if we skipped Monday, Tuesday would become the most unwelcome day of the week.
Regardless, people have a hard time breaking away from the weekend. The weekend was fun, free, a time to do anything they wanted to do. Monday is back to reality—papers piled up on your desk, chores at home, traffic, getting the kids to school on time, grocery shopping, preparing meals, taking kids to soccer practice and ballet lessons, cleaning the house, finishing a report for the boss . . . oh, if it was only Saturday again.
Stress replaces liberty.
Tasks replace time off.
Tedium replaces creativity.
That’s what most of us think.
Now, I would like to turn that mindset around. I can think of numerous reasons why Monday is a fabulous and very important day of the week. It’s time to ditch Monday’s bad reputation and give it a new image.
When we choose to have a better attitude about Monday, everything around us will begin to shift. Stress will be replaced by passion. We will have a new energy and start feeling good about ourselves and our accomplishments early in the week. When we make this shift, we become better partners; more patient parents; more productive workers; and most importantly, we become better time managers.
On top of all that, we actually start enjoying what we do—even on Monday. We welcome responsibility, because we realize it is giving us the opportunity to make things happen. We increase our success, make more money, and ultimately are rewarded by having more freedom. We will have new opportunities to travel, buy certain gadgets we love, and spend more time with family and friends.
When we make good use of Mondays, we also stop carrying stress through the days of the week. We solve problems as they occur rather than putting them off, and we learn how to get the most out of each and every day of the week.
I call Monday Funday. Don’t laugh! It changes attitudes.
I must share with you an event I introduced at one of the companies where I worked as an executive.
I decided to wait by the main entrance on a gloomy Monday morning and greet all the employees entering the facility. I smiled at them and announced, “Welcome! Happy Monday to you.”
They looked at me like I was insane. My cheery greeting didn’t remove their frowns. Most of them mumbled a quick “good morning” and shuffled through the doors with zero enthusiasm.
After I had greeted about a dozen people, I came to the conclusion that I really needed to do something about the bad attitudes in our organization. I knew it was affecting our bottom line. Our nightshift assembly line people had to troubleshoot more and more issues because of problems the dayshift employees handed them on a lackluster Monday. We wasted additional time on quality control and the customer returns.
Monday was a low shipping day and a low point in the quality of our work. No one was in top form on Monday—they were all just waiting for the day to end.
So as I stood in the doorway on that rainy Monday, a huge idea came to my mind.
I walked out to the parking lot toward the next group of people locking their cars, and I asked them to walk back to their respective cars.
“Why?” they asked.
My answer was simple: I wanted them to start over with a fresh attitude. The moment they locked their car doors, I wanted them to also lock away their weekend and their bad attitude about Mondays. I encouraged them to turn around with a smile and walk toward the building with purpose—happy to be part of an organization that produced items that helped people in the world.
If thought if I could just change the attitudes of a few employees, it would have a domino effect. We had to change our attitudes toward Mondays. It was as simple as that.
Again, they looked at me like I was insane, but they did follow my instructions. I repeated this practice for several weeks, and, believe it or not, attitudes started to change. Monday became a great day of productivity, shipping was up, and the company embarked on a whole new journey.