I don’t think a soul on this earth has ever argued that weekdays are more favorable than weekends in any way. Unless they have extenuating circumstances that force them to work on the weekends, most people find them to be a time of freedom and relaxation. This is what Dr. Richard Ryan and his team at the University of Rochester called “the weekend effect” in 2010. They conducted a study and found that both men and women feel mentally and physically better on the weekend regardless of age, martial status, profession or number of hours worked in the week.
I would like to extrapolate further on Dr. Ryan’s claim. I agree that the weekend is generally the “best” time of the week in terms of people feeling their best, but I also believe the weekend effect extends in two directions, reaching from Wednesday and into Monday. Yes, I did just single Tuesday out as not being part of this weekend buzz, but I have my reasons. I have had some very good Tuesdays in my time, and very good things have happened to me on Tuesdays. Despite this, I believe that it is the only day that truly misses out on the weekend effect. Let’s break this down day by day.
Sunday: What may appear to some as the all too rapid end of a wonderful weekend is really the last hurrah of the week. People may waste Sundays, anticipating the start of a work week they are less than excited to start. They need to consider that precious time as a final chance to squeeze in some fun before the weekend has ended. When we look at Sundays as the valuable weekend time they are, they become fully a part of the weekend effect.
Monday: Yet another misunderstood day, Mondays are often rated as people’s least favorite day of the week. It is seen as the true end of the weekend and the start of several days back at work. The weekend is all the way on the other page of the planner, and more heart attacks take place on Mondays than any other day of the week. (Not exactly, but studies have shown that most heart attacks will take place on the first day of the work week.) Mondays are really bragging days, days when you can return to work and recant wild stories of weekend adventures and relive what was just a wonderful time. When you consider Mondays as days where the weekend effect buzz hasn’t quite worn off just yet, they become much more tolerable.
Tuesday: Here it is. The worst day of the week. By Tuesday, you have already told all your weekend stories (getting you through Monday), but the weekend is still way out of reach. Tuesdays drag on in the middle of the week, and if we were to consider a week as a hill, Tuesday would be that awful incline that makes the peak (Wednesday) seem as though it is miles away. By Tuesday, there is no more weekend joy, and you have not yet started to rebuild your weekend momentum.
Wednesday: Now, Wednesday is a weird one. Sticking with the hill metaphor, Wednesday is indeed the peak. This means Wednesday morning may even feel worse than a Tuesday at first (something I will coin here as the “Tuesday drudge”). The magical thing about Wednesday, and what makes it far superior to Tuesday, is the fact that once you have overcome your Wednesday work, you are at the top of the week hill, and the rest of the work week is a smooth downhill coast, allowing you to gain weekend momentum as you ride on into Friday freedom.
Thursday: I once heard a radio DJ refer to Thursday as “Friday eve,” and truer words have never been spoken. By Thursday, we just go through the motions, working our ways to that last day of the work week. The weekend effect is likely already taking hold of most people especially if we already have plans for Friday. Thursday is merely a formality that says “yes, I have done enough work to get to Friday. I earned this.”
Friday and Saturday, if used properly, can be overtaken by the weekend effect. By then, you start the cycle over again. Now, like I said, Tuesdays are not always “bad days,” but they are definitely the days on which the weekend seems as though it may never arrive. With this in mind, though I have yet to post on Tuesdays, look for something to do to improve your Tuesday and make the weekend effect a never ending cycle.