What is it about Mondays? Must they always be like this?


In his bestselling book Stumbling on Happiness, Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert points to research showing we overestimate how unhappy Mondays make us:

We overestimate how happy we will be on our birthdays, we underestimate how happy we will be on Monday mornings, and we make these mundane but erroneous predictions again and again, despite their regular disconfirmation.

The research is pretty consistent: Mondays are never that bad and Fridays aren’t that great.

And traffic isn’t worse on Mondays. Tim Harford does the research and shows it’s generally much lighter than Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

So why do we still not like Mondays? Because you’re focused about how you predict you’ll feel, not how you actually feel in the moment.

We think unstructured time is better but many of us actually have more fun at work. (You’re only productive at work three days a week anyway.)

We fantasize the weekend will be all fun, but it never is. Studies show the saddest day of the week is actually Sunday. (And you definitely don’t want to be admitted to the hospital on Sunday.)

The secret to making your weekend more enjoyable is more social time.

A great job makes you less dependent on spectacular de-stressing weekends: Weekends make much less difference for people who work in open and trusting environments. They simply exchange one set of friends for another on weekends.”

So take it easy, Mondays aren’t that bad. But if it makes you feel better, reschedule that meeting. Tuesday is the best time for it anyway.

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