When I think about the days of the week, I can’t help but harken back to a one hit wonder — “Friday On My Mind” that soared to the top of the charts in 1966. (Originally sung by an Australian group called The Easybeats!) The first verse described the days of the week as follows:
Monday mornin’ feels so bad
Ev’rybody seems to nag me
Comin’ Tuesday I feel better
Even my old man looks good
Wed’sday just don’t go
Thursday goes too slow
cuz I got Friday on my mind!
Throughout the history of mankind, an ingrained perception of each day of the week has developed and ultimately become set in stone. In a rudimentary way, the Easybeats hit the nail on the head. I think it’s fascinating how our perspective, even our mood can change based on the particular day of the week.
Mondays are sometimes plagued with a hangover from the weekend. Not necessarily the type caused by over indulging in adult beverages. I’m talking about maybe a lack of sleep hangover or even that groggy feeling from too much sleep. Or sore muscles from various weekend warrior activities. Mondays seem to be a day of survival. “Get me through Monday and I’ll be okay”, I say to myself, “Tuesday will be markedly better just because it’s not Monday anymore”. By Tuesday the weekend past is a distant memory and the coming weekend is too far in the future. On Tuesday we got to put the pedal to the metal to make up for our lethargy on a manic Monday.
Because there are 5 weekdays, Wednesday got tagged with a legendary nickname – Hump Day! It could’ve just as easily been named Hope Day. Reality is, because it’s Wednesday, you feel like you have a chance to make it to Friday without something blowing up in your face! In our minds, the clouds from Monday and Tuesday begin to part and the sun appears intermittently on Wednesday afternoon.
I know Geico commercials can be as irritating as a mosquito buzzing in your ear, however the camel bopping around the office amongst the cubicles is a classic. This rendition, by far, is the most viral Geico commercial ever made.
Thursday is a nondescript day. It’s plain vanilla. When they decided in what order the days of the week would fall, Thursday got the short end of the stick. Let’s face it, you ain’t gonna get much love when you are the day before Friday. If Friday is Sinatra, Thursday is Mel Torme. It’s Spiderman vs. Hello Kitty. Thursday had the misfortune of being shoe-horned between the two most famous days of the week — HUMP day and TGIF! However, Thursdays have one redeeming quality. Around 5:00pm, Thursdays can turn from frog to prince. Many look at Thursday evening as the perfect opportunity to jump start their weekend! The mindset is LET’S PARTY! Friday is such a great day, I can deal with just about anything, including a lack of sleep and an alcohol induced hangover.
And then there’s Friday. It sits upon its throne, high above all the other days of the week. There’s little doubt that Friday rules the weekday kingdom. Heck, Friday is so famous it’s got its own acronym; they even named a restaurant after it. The mood swing from Thursday to Friday is palpable. People stand up straighter and walk around with an added pep-in-their-step. Smiles abound. Jokes that were stupid on Tuesday are funny on Friday. Those critical deadlines you obsessed over Monday through Thursday seem less critical when the weekend is just a few short hours away. No matter how determined and dedicated the individual, the productivity graph begins to plummet south starting Thursday afternoon. By Friday afternoon it has red lined. Even the bosses throw in the productivity towel by 3:00PM on Fridays.
As blasphemous as it sounds, Friday can be better than Saturday and Sunday! Why? Because anticipating a fun weekend can cause a higher adrenaline rush than the weekend activity itself. I have no research to back this statement — just my gut telling me it’s true in some cases.
Are these perceptions good or bad? The psychologists would probably say they are bad. If you believe we get what we think about, and you believe Mondays suck, then guess what? Your Mondays will suck! How many of us sit at our desks on a Tuesday wishing the rest of the week away? There’s that little voice in our heads whispering over and over again, “I can’t wait for the weekend, I can’t wait for the weekend”. I’m sure you agree, time flies by fast enough on it’s own. The last thing it needs is boost from our minds.
What can we do about it? The skeptics would say – not a whole lot. However, those who study how our minds work would advise us to stay in the moment, let go of past and future thoughts – focus on the NOW! I’m not a skeptic nor am I a neuroscientist, but I am willing to learn. They say there’s a way to teach our minds that there is no difference between a Tuesday and a Friday, if you are able to gain control of your thought process. Seems like swimming up stream but it may be worth it to avoid the Monday morning blues and make your Fridays more productive! What do you think?