You’ve got to stop living life for Fridays
if you hate your Mondays, something is certainly not right
I used to hate my Mondays. Back at my old job, it usually meant a mostly unproductive day dealing with meetings that went nowhere and shifting through office politics. I wasn’t a fan of Mondays because it didn’t serve up a sense of purpose or achievement. Rather, it was just the beginning of grinding through something for a paycheck.
There was a time before that when I used to like Mondays. I felt energized to wake up, motivated to move and do something, to hanker down and produce results.
Then the organization changed. A merger happened. I switched roles and the Mondayitist started to creep in. You don’t notice it at first, until you wake up one day, wash your face and notice your reflection staring back at you with blank and hollow eyes.
It wasn’t until the company died and I was let go that I was forced to face the reality of my Mondays — and what they truly stand for.
What a Monday really is
The idea of a Monday is an arbitrary one. It’s simply a marker for another day on a 24-hour rotation basis. The weekends usually serve as a time for resting or catching up with the acts of adulting.
The rest period is supposed to re-energize and give us a mental break from the constant act of working. Monday is often used as the general point in time when work begins again.
When we mark out Mondays with a sense of disdain, it is often because there are deeper issues that need to be resolved.
For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
— Steve Jobs
When you hate your Mondays, it’s usually the first signs of job dissatisfaction. According to Social Work Research, the ‘Monday blues’ is a precursor to emotional exhaustion or burnout. It means that the weekends are simply not enough to recover from the excessive strain we feel when at work.
Strain can come in different forms — from a lack of purpose, feelings of invalidness or just the pure inability to do meaningful tasks. These things create a negative feedback loop in our minds, leading to an eventual Monday dread.
Except this dread is not confined to just Mondays. Our mood on all the other days is also impacted, except perhaps around Friday afternoons, where we feel like we’ve been released from the drudgery of work.
Questions to ask yourself if you hate your Mondays
The thing with Mondays is that there are a lot of them, and they continue to exist regardless of how you feel towards them.
A seventh of our lives is made out of Mondays. We have about 52 of them each year. If you live to 80, that’s approximately 4160 Mondays lived — or about 594 week’s worth. If we spend our time hating our Mondays, then we spend a good portion of our life living in misery.
Here are a few but vital questions to ask yourself if you hate your Mondays.
- Is this what you really want, for the rest of your life?
- Why, exactly, are you hating your Mondays? Is it your boss? Is it work? Is it someone in the office? Is it the commute? Or is it something else?
- What can you do to change your Mondays?
- What is stopping you for changing your Mondays?
- What does your ideal Monday look and feel like?
What to do for a better Monday
Sometimes we convince ourselves that there is no way out — that work is a necessity of life. While it is, we are in more control of our lives than what we’re willing to accept.
Sometimes, we fear the change more than accepting our current situation as it is. That’s because there’s a level of uncertainty when it comes to change and we become comforted by the certainty of our Mondays — despite how they make us feel.
We tell ourselves stories and refuse to change our life’s narrative because it’s easier to complain and not do anything about it.
“Comfort and the fear of change are the greatest enemies of success.” ― Jeanette Coron
In order to have better Mondays and enjoy life, we need to not accept our reality as-is and action our way towards better Mondays.
Write down your goals and what’s stopping you from achieving them. You need both goals and obstacles — because if you don’t identify your obstacles, you can’t truly figure out how to overcome them.
For me, I used to hate my Mondays because there was no work-life balance. I had no time to myself. I had no time to spend with my children. I had no time to do anything in particular but splurge out on Netflix because I was just too mentally exhausted to do anything else. I hated my Mondays because it always felt like I was being micro-managed and always on the brink of burnout.
I wanted a life with flexible work hours, with the ability to set my own tasks, be truly self-directed, have the ability to get creative and experiment ruthlessly for results. I wanted my Mondays to be a precursor to all this — and without the commute.
My obstacle was the type of jobs available in my local area — in short, there were none that fitted my criteria. So my solution was to look beyond the traditional approach and went freelancing instead. Freelancing isn’t for everyone but for me it gave what I wanted out of my Mondays — and the rest of the week ahead.
We shouldn’t have to spend our time hating our lives. It’s not how things are meant to be.
When we hate our Mondays, it’s a sure sign that something isn’t quite right. Life is a series of moments, strung together to form a sense of continuation. Why should be blip out on life and only feel like we’re alive and free during the weekends?
Why can’t we feel such happiness and freedom during the week too?
I used to hate life when I hated my Mondays. But since I’ve made the changes and figured out what makes me happy on Mondays, my reality is much more aligned with what I want.
So if you hate your Mondays, figure out why you feel the way you do and then do something about it. Stop living your life for Fridays and figure out how to live them for Mondays instead. Rather than be drained by life, let yourself be inspired by it instead.