What ‘minimum Monday’ means in reducing workplace stress

(NerdWallet) TikTok trends don’t lie: Whether they’re quietly quitting their jobs or adopting Minimum Monday to combat Sunday fears, people are getting back to work.

In some sense, making work a smaller part of life is a permanent change that people working from home are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic, says Cristina Banks, public psychologist professionals and organizations, and director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Healthy Workplaces at the University, said. California, Berkeley Haas School of Business.

When working from home, people have more autonomy. They also have a clearer idea of ​​the value of time they can spend exercising or playing with their children instead of sitting in traffic on the way to the office.

After many workers have gone through that experience and are now being forced to return to pre-pandemic standards, Banks said it’s hard for them to give up control over when or how much they work.

So some workers embrace trends like Minimal Monday, which suggests doing only the most important tasks at the beginning of the week to maintain that control.

But people’s choice to spend less time and energy on work may also have more worrying origins. Surveys continuously show that a large portion of workers are at risk of burnout.

So, in the spirit of World Mental Health Day on October 10, we’ve looked at the challenges and tactics that can help workers cope.

Burnout and poor mental health at work

According to the American Psychological Association’s 2023 American Employment Survey, about 3 in 4 workers said they experienced work-related stress in the previous month. More than half said stress leads to a range of negative effects, including emotional exhaustion, lack of motivation, wanting to quit work, decreased productivity and irritability, among others.

The statistics on workplace mental health are so bleak that workplace wellness has become one of the highest priorities for business and public health organizations over the past two years.

For example, the surgeon general’s office has made addressing worker well-being one of its top priorities, saying the pandemic has highlighted the connection between human health and their job.

The federal agency has created a list of stressors that affect Americans’ mental health, similar to a day in the life of a typical American worker: heavy workloads, long hours, and more. long commutes, unpredictable schedules, long hours, limited autonomy, multiple jobs, and low pay.

The solution must come from employers, surgeons and others concluded. But executives must first overcome their own mistaken assumptions.

In the 2023 Workplace Happiness Survey released in June by Deloitte, a business management consulting firm, C-Suite executives tended to have an overly optimistic view of employee well-being and inconsistent with the employee’s own assessment of how they are working. While two-thirds of employees surveyed said their mental health has remained the same or gotten worse over the past year, the vast majority of executives believe that their employees’ mental health had better.

With that type of disconnect, workers may need to take the first step. One of the recent trends to emerge from social media, called Minimal Monday, invites people to prioritize their own happiness instead of forcing productivity. It could be exactly what workers need right now.

What is the Monday minimum ceiling?

Naked Minimal Monday is a trend started on TikTok by Marisa Jo Mayes, content creator and co-founder of Spacetime Monotasking, a startup providing productivity tools and workspaces virtual common.

Mayes coined the term Minimal Monday to describe the slow start to her work week. Instead of feeling paralyzed by an impossibly long to-do list, she only focuses on doing the most necessary tasks.

When she gets those done, she gives herself permission to put work aside for self-care, creative pursuits, cleaning, or anything else she feels comfortable doing (there’s also Could be more work).

Before I started doing Minimum Monday, I was making myself sick with stress, Mayes said in a video. I couldn’t create anything because of the level of exhaustion I had reached.

Why try bare minimum monday

Mayes says practicing Minimal Monday will free you from the pressure of an unrealistic workload, encourage you to be easier on yourself, and help you avoid burnout.

It turns out that lowering your expectations about what you have to get done in a day can have the unintended effect of making productive work easier to do.

While she started Minimal Mondays to feel better, Mayes discovered that cutting back on her free time made her more productive. [she] thought it was possible.

It would be difficult for employers to argue with that result, Banks said. As long as they are productive, why care where they are or how long their work day is?

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