How to Not Hate Mondays: Considering Time as an Investment

For as long as I can remember, Monday has represented a feeling I can only describe as the opposite of anticipation. It is a day where we mourn the weekend and dread persevering the coming “work week.” It is a time when our emotions seem to oscillate between an existential haze one moment and a goddamn pressure cooker the next.

To put it even more lightly, our optimistic friends over here say:

-          Most people do not smile on Monday until 11.16 am.

-          Staff ensures maximum productivity during only 3.5 hours on Mondays.

AND, if that wasn’t enough

-          Most suicides occur on Monday.

Point is: Mondays can really suck.

I know... I’m blowing your mind, right?

But now I’m going to try to change your mind (and my own, too) with some tips from smarter human beings who have apparently figured this whole thing out. And, no, this does not include displaying an “It’s not Monday you hate, it’s your job” meme because, well, duh-f-cking-duh. Thanks for nothing, internet.

No, this is for those of us who are still floating around in that in-between space and don’t want to wait until we have decided upon, let alone found and secured, our supposed dream job for full-time happiness to settle into our lives.

One of my favorite blogs, Pick the Brain posted this helpful article over a year ago. It is essentially a formula for how to make decent decisions on how we spend our time, otherwise known as growing up. I still refer to this advice on a regular basis whenever I can summon the discipline to actually think before I do.

Preaching from a creative yet logical perspective, the article discusses time as an investment. The author goes on to expand on the ROI (Return on Investment) associated with various activities, signifying which activities are worth your time and which aren’t.

Here's the tangential lesson in a nutshell:

1.      Look for Multiple Positives

“A multiple positive is an activity that generates a positive return in more than one area.” A good example here would be reading outside on a nice day or - even better - exercising with a friend. You’re simultaneously undertaking a healthy initiative while satisfying an inherent social urge to connect.

2.      Avoid Multiple Negatives

Multiple negatives can be more difficult to spot for those plagued by the 21st century disease FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), especially those who live in New York where there is literally always a hundred things to do. An example of a multiple negative is, ever-so-unfortunately, drinking. We (usually) spend money, lose time that could be spent doing something productive and steal a chunk of energy from the next day.  A more industrious option, or one that is full of “Multiple Positives” might be to host a potluck-esq happy hour with friends or join an intramural league where you can collectively grab a drink or two after having exercised a bit.

Of course you could also just stop being a lush and stay in for once, but that’s for another post.

Anyway, if you consider this lesson at the same time you consider how much Monday can suck, you may realize a correlation. I did, anyway.

The Result

I realized that, oftentimes, I indulge in a slew of multiple negatives during the weekend, depleting me of most of my energy and happiness come Monday.

Now, realizing that I was repetitively spending 48 hours like an underage delinquent may not be earth-shattering news, but putting it in context was still a big step.

Soon thereafter, I realized that if I adhere a bit better to the guidelines above, my weekends are spent in a more meaningful fashion and, without a doubt, my Mondays don’t feel quite as miserable. Since I’m not totally spent, physically or financially, it also allows me the opportunity to plan a little something to look forward to on Monday, thereby kicking the entire week off to a good start.

Example: Bryant Park Film Festival

HBO’s Bryant Park Film Festival with my two college roommates!

After taking it relatively easy over the weekend, I had normal levels of energy come Monday morning and felt excited to have a little something planned for the beautiful 80 degree day.

Plus, since the opening night movie was Saturday Night Fever, we had all this to look forward to:

The Original JT

The Original JT

I swapped working out in the gym for walking to work and we settled on healthy pickings instead of drinks. On top of it, the movie was free and we were able to enjoy each other’s company outside on a beautiful day. Definitely multiple positives.

Tips:

- Get there early! I arrived at 5:45 and still spent some time hunting around for a spot for three people.

- Bring a large enough blanket because people will encroach on your space. This is New York.

- Finally, bring food & drinks! We had this fancy contraption full of goodies  

Just kidding, this was definitely girls' next to us.

Just kidding, this was definitely girls' next to us.

LOL, not. This was our actual setup: 

Footlongs and knock-off juices.

Footlongs and knock-off juices.

Whatevs, We ate fresh.

P.S. The Bryant Park Film Festival runs every Monday through August 17th, and you can view the schedule here.