Daily Energy Curve: Blue Mondays

I’ve been enjoying debunking my own cherished stories about my Daily Energy Curve and I went after a good one about the restorative power of the weekend. I always thought that I had a fresh start each Monday after a weekend of rest. I thought each Monday I was like this guy, ready to get going and make it happen.



I was curious about this because I would assign work to either Friday or Monday based on how stressful I thought it would be. Given my story, I would move the tough stuff to Monday thinking I was more rested.

My Question

Was I more rested, awake and ready to go on Mondays vs. Fridays?

What I Did

I captured how alert I was and how much stress I was feeling eight times a day for 25 consecutive days. I then compared Monday to Friday’s in terms of mental alertness and stress.

How I Did It

I set my alarm so it would alert me eight times a day. When the alarm went off, I used my DIY Tracker on my iPhone.



The DIY Tracker captures a score of 1 – 5 on my alertness and stress level. After 25 days I took the data generated and cut it by Monday and Friday, doing a TTest comparing the two days.

What I Learned

I was no more mentally alert on Monday than I was on Friday. The TTest on Mental Alertness showed that there was no significant difference between Monday and Friday.


Awake Mental Alert Stress
Friday vs. Monday 0.10 0.50 0.04


Stress, however, was significantly higher on Monday than on Friday (p = .04). This made sense as I was moving tasks to Monday for no real reason other than my story about being rested. I have to conclude that I was overloading my Mondays as a result. What a lousy way to start my week.

Another story I had is that I was more alert in the morning than I was in the afternoon. I had even organized my day so that I would do my heavy lifting mental work in the mornings. Turns out that was wrong. Looking at the entire data set and comparing morning to afternoon, not a single measured dimension was significantly different.


Awake Mental Alert Stress
Morning vs. Afternoon 0.23 0.22 0.72


So combining the two, I think I was generating my own Blue Mondays by believing these two stories. I would try and shift all my hard work to Monday mornings, and the result was not better output, just more stress.

I will look to spread out the work more evenly and compare that to this baseline. At the very least, I will look to try and make Mondays less hectic.

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