I see no reason why we can’t just do away with Mondays. They are flat, dreaded by all and a symbol of everything we don’t want to do. Mondays are the day we mourn the passing of the weekend and coax ourselves into the week ahead. For most people, Monday’s don’t even count. They are merely transitory days. No one will really blame you if you aren’t pushing 150% productivity on a Monday – after all, you are experiencing a trauma akin to a cold water bath or that first moment you are expelled from the womb. Sheer discomfort or apathy comes to greet us every Monday – neither of them pleasant and certainly not a winning combo. Why must we accept the dreaded Monday as a part of our existence? Who said we had to? Much like the moment Richard Branson decided that flying in the skies need not be a horrible experience which consisted of overpriced fares, bleak selection of entertainment and disgusting food, he recognized the status quo and said, “Yeah, no thanks. We shouldn’t have to suffer through this.” Who decreed that we must choose between playing Uno with the passenger next to us and watching Nova, the only channel available? Why should I have to suffer through my gourmet peanut entree? The whole point of being here is to continually evolve and create a better existence for everyone involved.
That said, I propose we either do away with Mondays or find a way to somehow “re-brand” the day. Imagine a marketing team in charge of the “weekday department” sitting around a board room table crafting a Power Point presentation on “A New Image for Monday.”
How can we give Monday’s pizazz and color? The mere mention of “Friday” tripping off the tongue evokes a higher pitched voice full of expectation and promise. How can we take away all of the undesirable qualities of Monday so that it is no longer the bane of the entire week? Well, I have a few suggestions:
1) Take the day off. No more working on Mondays. If you get any resistance just point at Ned falling asleep at his desk or the girls squealing in the kitchen over the weekend’s top stories. Monday’s are clearly not productive days and therefore should be avoided. This is a no-brainer. True, this will then make Tuesday the first day of the week, but Tuesday can more easily handle it as Friday is now a much closer reality.
2) Plan exciting events in advance to fall on a Monday (this is no longer a day for dental appointments, mammograms or pap smears; eliminate virtually any thing that smells of “errands” or chores”).
3) If the productivity argument doesn’t work and you are forced to go to work on Mondays, come in to work an hour or two late. The hours from 8am-10am on Monday morning are the two hours out of the entire week that people care the least about your presence. You are not the only one who has been thrown into a tub of cold water. Most people are sitting at their desks willing themselves to shift gears and send out that memo after their three double espressos. Do yourself a favor and prance by their desk around 10am. If anyone looks at you in askance, cheerfully change the subject and apologize for leaving the dishes in the sink over the weekend – you were in late last night trying to get a presentation out the door. The benefits of this approach are two-fold: it deflects the attention from you and makes your co-worker feel like a slacker.
4) All things celebratory should be rescheduled for Mondays. Again, the weekend days will always stand on their own. Happy hours, shopping trips, or the date with the new guy from the gym – generally anything spontaneous and fun goes on a Monday. If you are the Betty Crocker type that likes to bring treats into the office on Friday – keep everyone off guard and bring them on Monday instead. If you have kids, pull them out of school on Monday and take them to the new Pixar movie they wanted to go to. There will be plenty of time to stimulate the economy when they are on holiday break – give the market a boost during the time it is least expected.
5) Keep things interesting by making Monday the official prank-playing day. Use your imagination – have a few large pizzas delivered for lunch. When the pizza guy comes and no one recalls ordering pizza, they won’t have the energy to figure it out who called him or where it goes and will just pay him and be done with it.
6) Avoid obligations of any kind on Mondays. If someone tries to rope you into yet another unnecessary meeting to decide when to have the meeting planning meeting, say “Sorry, Monday is the day I plan all of my outsource delegation.” Most people won’t bother taking the time to translate what this really means (I don’t work on Mondays, I let other people do that.) and will give you a blank stare and walk away.
I have a similar vision for the months of November through February which I have strong convictions we should not have to suffer through either. Rather than accepting the stress of the holiday seasons and abysmal weather as the status quo, be proactive and plan a time-share in a tropical locale with friends. It needn’t be expensive – sometimes even one month is enough to make one cheerful about the holidays. Look around you. There are so many things that we accept as “Well, that’s just the way it is.” which we can avoid and transform with a little creativity. The only warning is, be prepared to make people jealous. They will be upset that they have accepted being long-suffering while you’re kicking your heels together with exuberance re-imagining everything in your path.
I call this approach an “I don’t care, I don’t have to” approach or the “Create something better than crap” approach. As with anything new and unfamiliar, people will generally be resistant and quick to ridicule but they will catch up soon enough. It all starts with Mondays or the dreaded months of November thru February – where it ends is up to you. Some parting words and food for thought: When Richard Branson re-imagined what it meant to fly and wanted to call his airline “Virgin”, a survey of British people revealed that 90% said they would never be caught dead flying on an airline called “Virgin” as they found the allusion to be rude and inappropriate. Eventually they saw the error of their thinking. Imagine the same feeling of vindication when you have re-imagined Mondays and have rescued the masses from their own misery. It may start with Mondays or November through February. Where it ends is up to you.