Monday, 13 August 2007

Why you get the Monday Blues

Its Monday and I believe everybody is feeling lazy , tired and not in the mood for work.Its perfectly normal to feel it.

The constant demands of office life can make one day seem much like the next. In fact, there is a rhythm to the working week -- one that savvy employees can use to their advantage.

Research shows that rather than plodding by in an identical procession, some days are better than others for tasks requiring skills like concentration, risk-taking and negotiations.

So what should you be doing on each day of the week?


Workers have known for years, and now research confirms, that it's best to give Mondays a miss. A new study from the Workforce Institute in the US reveals that 39 percent of workers admit to having at some point called in sick because they wanted an extra day off. Monday is peak day for this.

The phenomenon, called Seasonal Absence Syndrome, means offices are likely to be more short-staffed and coworkers more stressed. And the Monday morning blues aren't all in the mind either.

James Waterhouse, coauthor of Keeping in Time with Your Body Clock said: "Over the weekend our body clock naturally slips into a 25-hour one, rather than a 24-hour one. This means, come Monday, it is out of sync and you feel sluggish and half-awake."

Doctors warn we are 33 percent more likely to have a heart attack on a Monday, as we switch into high gear after the weekend. So, given Moskowitz's assertion that workers are more demanding and aggressive at this time, this is the best day for delegating, organizing and setting goals, following your boss' direction and avoiding conflict.


"For many people this is peak day for work output and efficiency," McMahon said. "You're not tired yet, especially with the long hours most people work in the UK, which often mean that workers are totally exhausted by Friday."

Intellectual performance peaks between 10am and noon, so workers are likely to be at their optimum between these hours on Tuesday.

Chris Gribble, chief executive of the New Writing Partnership initiative, believes Tuesday is one of the best days to have meetings.

"You definitely get more done than you would on another day," he said.

However, a new study of 700 workers by recruiters fish4jobs suggests that productivity is curbed by mid-afternoon when it's peak time for online job-hunting.

"Tuesday afternoon is the trigger point when most employees' minds start to wander. Hence we always see a spike in traffic just after 3pm," fish4jobs chief executive Joe Flavin said.


This is transition day between hard-ball, demanding behavior and a more amenable disposition, but the focus is still on getting things done. It's also the day when workers are relaxing into the working week, but not yet exhausted.

McMahon thinks Wednesday is the best day for creative thinking, strategy and brainstorming.

"Your brain is fully engaged with work, but you still have plenty of midweek energy," she says. "Hold brainstorming meetings and think about the future."

Research by Glenn Pettengill, a professor at Grand Valley State University in the US, suggests that Wednesdays are when financial workers perform best, as their decision-making skills are at optimum levels.

"This is the day when investors in large stocks are rewarded with their highest returns," he said.


"This is a very interesting day," Moskowitz said. "Workers are relatively more submissive and open to negotiation. It could be argued that it is the best day to ask people to do things because they are more likely to agree."

She suggested that the dominant goal-setting and task-orientated behavior wanes by Thursday, as people realize that compromise is needed.

So it just might be the best day to ask your boss for a pay raise. Certainly much better than a Monday.

"People tend to think they get more disagreeable during the course of the week. In fact, they start out that way and get more agreeable later in the week. Thursdays and Fridays find us most open to negotiation and compromise because we want to finish work before the week is out," Moskowitz said.


Be careful -- workers take more risks and have more accidents today. Experiments by Pettengill show people are more likely to make riskier decisions on a Friday. In a study, participants chose significantly riskier investment options on a Friday than on a Monday.

Statistics show a 13 percent increase in road accidents on a Friday.

Roger Vincent, spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said: "We think people are tired and concentrate less, making it a risky day."

Conventional wisdom suggests you should avoid meetings on Fridays because delegates can't concentrate. But business psychologist Alastair Hamill from Agrippa Training believes this can be used for tactical advantage.

"You could schedule a meeting for Friday afternoon and you are pretty certain to get a decision because people don't want to linger," he said.

He also suggests it's a good day to confront colleagues with a grievance because they can come to terms with what you've said over the weekend rather than simmering all week.

The weekend

If you've toiled hard at your desk from Monday to Friday, you just might succumb to the recently identified "leisure sickness" at the weekend.

The syndrome was recognized by Dutch psychologist Ad Vingerhoets of Tilburg University and strikes down workers who manage high stress through the week, only to succumb to illness at the weekend or on holidays. Frequently reported symptoms include headaches, fatigue, muscular pains, nausea, viral infections, flu-like symptoms and colds.

It is probably more tempting to head for the pub after a stressful week, but it would seem that exercising on a Friday night can help the transition from work to weekend leisure, reducing the risk of weekend illness.

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2007, Page 9


Kenny Ng said...

I like Monday, and I hate weekend, so am I an alien? Hahaha...

I used to study on weekend and 7 days non stop working. Now I really so bored on weekend, working day makes me the day past faster ma...

tanalan2 said...

hehe I luv Friday (coz can drink) n Saturday ( got EPL mar ) I hate Monday coz its so sluggish and at night I hv to go duty.....

lasilasi said...

here i am, suffering form monday blue... i felt that my days are going more n more meaningless and this occur after i ended my study/exam/class life =(

tanalan2 said...

Lasi Lasi : Things wld be fine my dear....hehe real Monday blues when u starts work !!! Then u know wats is Monday blues.....


Merdeka !! Merdeka !!