It used to be that when people would complain about Mondays and having to go in to work, I’d chime in and add my $.02 of agreement, thinking it was just something you did. Everyone complains about Mondays, right?
But I didn’t feel it.
For years, I never really got what people were complaining about on Mondays. I mean sure, it’d be nice to not have to work on Monday, but that’s reality right? If you have to work, you’re going to have some version of a Monday and you’re going to have to start your workweek. Why complain?
Then, I experienced it for myself. I was at WebEx, had been there for ~2 years and I started to really dislike Monday mornings. I’d wake up, hit snooze 3 times, be late for my carpool and just really want to come up with a reason to skip work or, heaven forbid, to even call in sick.
“This isn’t like me”, I thought at the time. I’d never been one to call in sick or make up excuses. But it kept showing up, Monday after Monday.
So I thought about what was going on, at a deeper level, for a while. And I came to some conclusions:
- Most people hate Mondays because they truly dislike their jobs and don’t do anything to change the situation
- I like making things so much that I’d never really disliked my jobs, no matter how bad they were (for the record, working 100+ hours a week was nothing compared to the babysitting gig I had one summer)
- I’d finally experienced what it was to dislike my job for the first time
- I didn’t want to ever find myself in the “most people” camp
So I created my “Rule of Mondays”. Which goes like this:
“If you find yourself waking up on the first day of your workweek, whatever day that may be, and you don’t want to go into work, listen to it. If it’s back for too many weeks in a row, change it.”*
For the past 8 years I’ve held that rule in my head and observed it fastidiously. It’s served me incredibly well. I knew when it was time to leave Yahoo! – that voice was there.
Damn it feels good to be an entrepreneur
Fortunately, I haven’t felt that way since 2008. Being on my own, working on things I want to work on with people I want to work with has been super fulfilling in a ton of ways, but the most important way is that every Monday comes with excitement.
I love the feeling of waking up on Monday, having an entire week of people’s time ahead of me to work with. I love the feeling of taking my first “official” day of the workweek and kicking the crap out of it.
I love knowing that every Monday is an opportunity to set the tone for myself and to accomplish more in one day than I think that I can. I strive to make Monday my longest and most productive day because it carries on into the rest.
Wasting opportunity is a terrible sin
Finally, I love Mondays because of this:
I’m fortunate enough to live in a country like the US and that I have the means to decide what I do and how I spend my time. I want to know that I’m making the most of that opportunity and every Monday is another chance to prove it to myself.
*Some of you might recognize this as sounding very similar to Steve Jobs’ Stanford commencement speech. It’s one of the reasons that reading that resonated with me so very deeply – I’d just gone through this exercise in my own way