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.
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.
|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.
|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.