What if there was a scientific reason why you despise Mondays?
What if you could use science to solve the problems and even enjoy your Monday morning?
If you have ever filled your coffee maker with milk instead of water, you have probably already figured out Monday sucks.
It might seem like only another day of the week, but anyone who has ever tried to wake up on time on a Monday knows this simply isn’t true.
Thankfully, you can hack your Monday morning by learning the science behind why Monday sucks and how you can become more productive.
The Science Behind Horrible Mondays
The experiments are complete and the results are in: Monday sucks.
Part of the reason for this might be a memory bias.
In one 2008 study in Australia, Mondays were reported to be the day when people felt the lowest.
Interestingly, this was only true when people were remembering the week. When researchers asked people about their mood in real-time, it turned out Wednesdays were the worst day of all.
Perhaps part of the reason why Mondays are so terrible is due to confirmation bias.
But there are a few reasons why Monday sucks so much outside of this bias. It’s hard to start the week right when you feel horrible about yourself.
Many people spend their weekend drinking, eating, and wasting time more than they do during the week, which can impact their physical appearance and overall well-being.
Another problem with Monday is we are returning to our social circle at work after a weekend away.
As social animals, humans naturally need a tribe around them to feel comfortable.
Human biology makes us want to communicate gossip with our co-workers to secure our place in the world once again.
Of course, it’s always possible you simply dislike your job.
An estimated 70% of workers are disengaged or actively despise their jobs.
If you don’t enjoy your job, this may explain why you feel so depressed on Monday night and why 37% of job applications are turned in on Tuesdays.
Biology may also impact your hatred of Mondays because you caught up on sleep over the weekend.
Even though you needed the sleep, the extra time can throw off your body’s clock and make it even harder to wake up on Monday morning.
Is There Hope for Productive Mondays?
If you are faced with yet another Monday morning, don’t fret.
There is hope for a better experience–or, at least, a Tuesday–in your future. You can get productive and start the week right by adopting a few simple changes in your Monday morning routine.
1. See Issues as Opportunities
You will always encounter problems in life, including the fact that Monday sucks.
The real issue isn’t how many problems you encounter, but how you deal with them.
Rather than confront problems with a negative attitude or anger, leave your emotions behind.
Other than changing your outlook, this can also make it easier for you to handle each problem.
When you approach a situation with anger or frustration, your emotions cloud your judgment and lead to insecure decisions.
This means you feel worse and end up making your problems harder to deal with.
2. Write It All Down
One of the most effective productivity tips is also one of the easiest. Starting today, get in the habit of writing down your to-do list.
This practice is common among the world’s most successful people, which isn’t a coincidence.
When you write something down, it serves as both a physical and mental reminder of what you need to do.
In addition, it motivates you to achieve your goals and creates a sense of commitment to getting things done.
Plus, writing down your goals allows you to conceptualize them and break them down into smaller, more achievable pieces.
Even if you don’t accomplish your entire to-do list, having one means you are more likely to finish more tasks during the day.
It also reduces the amount of mental energy you have to spend thinking about what to do next. If you don’t like using a pen and paper, you can always use a checklist app or collaboration platform to decide on your personal or team goals.
t also reduces the amount of mental energy you have to spend thinking about what to do next.
If you don’t like using a pen and paper, you can always use a checklist app or collaboration platform to decide on your personal or team goals.
3. Establish a Routine
Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, famously wears the same outfit each day. He does this because it removes one potential decision each day, so he can focus on other things.
While you don’t have to stick to wearing jeans and a grey t-shirt for the rest of your life, you may want to reduce your day-to-day decisions by making some things into a habit.
A routine gives you more freedom as it reduces the psychological impact of changing your environment and making decisions.
When you create a routine, it allows you to easily switch from your weekend mindset to your weekday mindset and the alternative. This helps you to improve your concentration, mood, and focus.
4. Develop an Attitude of Gratitude
Scientists have discovered that giving thanks and practicing gratitude can make you happier.
If you want to get productive, you should write down or state aloud the reasons why you are grateful.
Instead of focusing on feeling unhappy about returning to work, you can think about the positive things you enjoyed over the weekend.
Instead of constantly thinking about how Monday sucks, spend your week focused on how amazing you felt while going out to dinner, seeing a concert, or relaxing with friends.
Because your job provides you with free time on the weekend and a healthy enough salary, you get to kick back and binge-watch your favorite Netflix show or go on a hike.
During your weekend, it’s far too easy to focus on how you don’t want to go to work.
This can easily cause you to feel negative and set your Monday up for instant failure. Instead, develop a sense of gratitude for your wonderful weekend and focus on all of the positive experiences you enjoyed.
5. Give Yourself a Head Start
Sometimes, the reason why someone despises Monday morning is that they have so much to do right out of the gate.
You can make your outlook on life a bit better by doing some of your future work on Friday before you leave the office or over the weekend.
By doing this, your return to work will be much, much easier.
If it is too late to get anything done before your day starts, try doing the hardest or most annoying task first.
Many people end up dreading their hardest task for the entire day before they end up getting it done.
If you do the worst thing first, you can relax and enjoy the rest of your Monday.
6. Turn Off Your Devices
If you are constantly getting updates from social media or texts from your spouse, you will never get anything done.
When you despise Mondays, the last thing you want is to stay late at the office finishing all of your work thanks to these distractions.
By putting your phone on silent and avoiding interruptions, you can get more of your work done in the same amount of time.
7. Give Yourself a Moment
Take a break. You deserve it.
More importantly, working for eight hours without a break will end up backfiring. You end up working slower and slower as more time goes by without a break.
One of the best and most enjoyable productivity tips you can use is to give yourself a brief rest at regular intervals.
During your break, spend a few minutes focusing on your breathing and letting go of any negative emotions.
A few minutes of silent meditation will help you process any negative feelings and boost your concentration. It will also help you focus and become more productive.
If you work with computers, you should consider adopting the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, stare at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will give your eyes a well-deserved break and prevent a headache from too much screen time.
8. Learn to Say No
If you are finding it hard to handle all of your responsibilities at work, you may need to start saying “no” more often. You are only one person, so you can’t do everything yourself. Whenever possible, try delegating tasks to your team members as well.
Take a look at your to-do list. If it is a mile long and full of things you don’t have to do, pare it down a bit.
Monday sucks enough already, so the last thing you need is more useless, unnecessary tasks cluttering up your work schedule.
We understand that saying no can sometimes be hard so we are working on a few templates for how to say no with grace. Stay tuned!
9. Live a Healthier Lifestyle
One of the reasons why people despise Mondays so much is because of how they lived over the weekend.
If you ate too much, have a hangover, or didn’t sleep properly, you aren’t going to feel your best on Monday morning.
To start enjoying your Mondays more, try eating a healthier diet and getting some exercise.
Even consider cutting out unhealthy activities like drinking or smoking. For an extra boost, you should always eat breakfast because feeling full will help you focus and be more productive.
10. Batch Process Routine Tasks
You have to check your emails and return phone calls, but do you really have to do those tasks right away?
If you want to start the week right, you should try reorganizing the way you do certain activities.
Instead of checking your emails throughout the day, try to do this task at set intervals like after a break or when you arrive at the office in the morning.
Little activities can quickly add up. Each time you focus on answering an email, you lose your sense of concentration for all of the other tasks you need to accomplish.
You can keep track of what you’ve achieved and what’s ahead by using a timeline tool like Toggl Plan.
By doing these routine tasks at set times, you can reduce the amount of time you waste by consistently switching your focus from one thing to another.
Monday Sucks, But You Don’t Have to
If you are tired of thinking about how much Monday sucks, help is available.
By integrating the best productivity tips and techniques into your routine, you can make your hatred of the dreaded first weekday a thing of the past.
These tips will help you sail smoothly through your Monday to reach the safety and comfort of a Tuesday morning without a hitch.
Want more productivity tips that will work any day of the week? Make sure you check out the Toggl Plan blog for loads of articles surrounding this topic and how you can fit these practices into both your work and personal life.
Rose Keefe is an author and technical writer who has over ten years’ experience in supporting project managers in the manufacturing and construction sectors. One of her primary responsibilities was developing product manuals that supported efficient use of industrial equipment. She continues to write on the subject of time management and commercial productivity for trade websites and publications.