I heard Kendra say to someone just before getting off the phone “…yeah, it’s been great. It’s like a week of Mondays.”
After the call was over I asked her if she realized that she just told someone that her week off with no kids was great because it was “like a week of Mondays.”
We’ve both come to realize that a week of Mondays for most people would be a living hell.
Our Mondays represent a day completely off. No college, no large business errands. Just off. It is a day that’s set aside specifically to relax. A scheduled period of time completely free to do anything except the the things we had previously felt obligated to do.
These days I’m not so strict about my no work Monday policy because I have a pretty loose schedule as it is, but while in college, Kendra had to schedule down time and stick to it or she either wouldn’t get any or she’d take several smaller guilt-ridden unproductive stints when she should be on the ball.
Dedicating a day or a period of time to relaxing and actually relaxing, made relaxing, relaxing. You don’t have to feel anxiety about getting wrapped up in Netflix or the Xbox because that time is specifically set aside for just that. Merely giving yourself permission to perform waste-time tasks made them more enjoyable.
In a way it’s like the ‘pay yourself first’ principle. Instead of investing the money that might be left over for important things, pay it off the top. Likewise, instead of hoping there will be time left over at the end to relax, just take it off the top and use the rest to be focused and productive. If you gave me five days to complete a college paper, it’s going to take me five days to do it. If I take a day for myself right up front, it will still get done in the four remaining days.
Kendra’s comment on the phone made me think about the difference in perspective people have. For us, Monday is the best day of the week. For many, it represents the restart of a cycle they either hate, would rather be doing anything else, or somewhere in between the two.
I started our Monday tradition while in college. There was no magic to it. All of my class work was due on Thursday and Sunday. Monday was just the most ideal choice when choosing a day to get nothing done. I found myself getting nothing done on Mondays anyway. The procrastination only gave me anxiety. Anytime I did literally anything but college work I had the nagging feeling that I was wasting precious time that was needed for research.
So, I said fuck it. I’ll just make it a deliberate waste of time rather than an irresponsible waste of time.
This shifting of association can be applied to many things in our lives that are necessary but cause friction or anxiety. If you have a procrastination problem like me, find your biggest periods of wasted time and use it as scheduled time to cram all of your procrastination in. It’s true you might not get any more done that week than you would have, but you can get what you normally get done without all the stress and anxiety.