Posted by: Arun Gupta
CIO, IT careers, Monday Blues
A recent news item caused curiosity; it said Monday blues are at its peak at 11:45 AM on Tuesday!
Till I entered the corporate world, “Manic Monday” (from the music band Bangles) was just a song for me. I was told that every day is a Monday in the world of IT, since the IT organization is always running to stay stable at the same place. During the initial years, I thought I was missing something. As I move up the ladder, the realization might happen about how bad Monday can be. I used to see many wrinkled faces with worry written all over — I was told that stress causes this phenomena.
IT was required to ensure that systems worked round the clock, week, month, year, millennium and IT did. Monday was a complex mix of weekly review meetings, MIS reports, higher loads on the system, and IT under pressure! Most CIOs bend backwards (often forward too) to meet the challenge.
Innovation has become a basic expectation. So has change management, business knowledge, and so on. Start running faster?
Why should Monday be any different? Is it only because Monday comes after a weekend of relaxation?
If so, people who work six days a week (there are still some enterprises who work six days a week — at least every fortnight) should be less stressed over Monday. But, that is not the case.
Or is it the case that stuff which piles up over the weekend requires quick attention on the first weekday? If this indeed is the case, in today’s age where smart phones, wireless laptops and many other ways help you to remain connected, events do not typically wait until Monday to seek attention.
So what causes “Monday days”?
As I moved companies and up the ladder, the Monday phenomena remained elusive until I attended a training course that helped me understand human behavior and how people react to different situations. Slowly, I began to realize that the Monday Blues are a self-inflicted disease by the corporate world — one which comes out of need for action, activity and attention.
Work pressure is here to stay, but stress is purely optional. This applies to the Monday phenomena too.
Whenever I fixed external meetings on Monday mornings, people wondered whether I had nothing to do or how I manage to “manage” Mondays. My comment to them has been, and still remains the same: When your process is set, and the team knows their roles as well as dependencies, the Monday chaos is minimized to a large extent. Do not focus on the activity, focus on the outcome — delegate the task, do not abdicate, or else pressure only rises. There is no magic formula or Holy Grail, but planning and discipline that helps you overcome the flurry of activity demanding your attention.