Discover more from Understandably by Bill Murphy Jr.
A new work trend for Mondays? Maybe. Also, 7 other things worth knowing today.
Mondays are hard for this newsletter! Two reasons:
Writing it the day or evening before means doing it in the middle of the weekend. I find time on the weekends for work—probably more than I should—but understandably, I really want to maximize time with family and friends.
That said, it’s hard to write the Monday edition earlier, especially the “7 other things,” because a lot of the “things” might not have happened yet (or at least been published).
If I’m being really honest and reflective, it’s not just since writing this newsletter that Sunday evenings can be stressful. I probably felt that way even more when I was working for other people.
This might explain why I was taken by the latest workplace trend.
Meet Marisa Jo (last name wisely omitted), a TikToker whose post about dreading Monday morning at work—and what she did about it—has apparently resonated with a lot of people, as it's gained nearly 2 million views.
She starts out by describing how her weekends were capped by the “Sunday Scaries” …
Get out of bed feeling like you were already behind.
You'd make a to-do list that was way too long, thinking you could overachieve your way out of the stress. But you never did.
Five p.m. meant relief that you were off the clock, shame that your list wasn't done, and dread for the next day.
Ouch. I wouldn't want to work that way either. Her solution? A schedule that she calls "Bare Minimum Mondays."
One Monday last year you woke up and gave yourself permission to do the absolute bare minimum for work that day. And everything felt different.
There you have it: We’ve rolled past the Great Resignation, disquieted ourselves with Quiet Quitting, reaped the benefits of Rage Applying, and now we're going to be talking about Bare Minimum Mondays.
Here post sparked debate. There are strong feelings on both sides:
Burned out employees saying, "Yes! I'm with you! I'm also going to just 'mail it in' on Mondays."
Disturbed bosses, along with perpetually perturbed commentators, saying, "That's it, more proof that our youngest workers simply don't want to work."
As so often happens, a few key points have been missed. So let's lay them out:
First, nobody works hard all the time. Even the most dedicated employees and most motivated entrepreneurs have an ebb and flow to their effort. So being honest and identifying the day on which it's hardest to be productive seems like an exercise in self-awareness.
Second, while I'm not sure what Marisa Jo was doing for work when she supposedly started her reduced-stress Mondays, she's now apparently self-employed or a startup co-founder. So, while she clearly created the video in the hope it would be seen, she really only answers to herself now.
Finally, a lot of people really are burned out right now. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to try to be empathetic, listen hard, and be responsive. Although maybe I'd pick a less in-your-face way to describe it than "Bare Minimum."
Regardless, if someone's slow day is Monday but they get their work done the rest of the week, what's the harm?
Anyway, there’s hope. The longer you do something, maybe, the more efficient you can get at it.
For example, I’m writing this sentence, right now, at 11:50 a.m. on Wednesday March 22. (Although the “7 other things” aren’t filled in yet.) You’ll read it all most likely on Monday March 27. That’s progress!
[Post script: Old habits die hard; I’m wrapping up the final version at 11:27 p.m. on Sunday evening. Oh well.]
Questions of the day: What’s your most stressful day of the week, and why? Let us know in the comments.
7 other things worth knowing today
Oh, lovely: Vladmimir Putin had a busy weekend, and he now says Russia will station nuclear arms in Belarus. If I can summarize world reaction: This is not good. (France 24)
More women are becoming professional truckers as the industry tries to overcome a shortage of drivers. Women made up 14% of professional drivers in 2022, according to Women In Trucking, up from just 7.9% in 2018. (CNBC)
Elon Musk told Twitter employees in an email that he’ll give them stock awards based on the idea of Twitter being a $20 billion company. Recall that he paid $44 billion for it last year. Separately (I think), parts of Twitter's source code was apparently leaked and left online for months, according to a legal filing. Twitter moved on Friday to have the leaked code taken down from GitHub, an online collaboration platform for software developers. (WSJ, NYT)
A new research paper claims that about 80 percent of employees, no matter their field, could see their careers impacted by the rise of ChatGPT. About 19 percent “may find at least 50 percent of their duties impacted by GPT.” (NY Post)
Working remotely is growing more rare, a few years after the pandemic caused millions of Americans to decamp from worksites to their basements and bedrooms. Some 72.5% of businesses said their employees teleworked rarely or not at all last year, according to a Labor Department report released this week. That figure climbed from 60.1% in 2021. (WSJ)
Americans say it’s harder to date people with different political views. Women and Democrats, in particular, say they are unwilling to date across the aisle. Two studies: 86 percent of people say it's harder to imagine dating someone who supports the opposing political party, and a majority of American singles would be flat out unwilling to date someone with different political views. (The Hill)
Big time TikTok influencers are fuming over a potential ban, saying members of Congress who heard testimony about their favorite app last week showed they had very little understanding of how it works, to say nothing of other basic technology and applications. (TechCrunch)