Today’s Wall Street Journal has an article from this weekend, “Sunday Night is the New Monday Morning, and Workers Are Miserable.” After a week when many people took at least some time off for Independence Day, it’s a stark reminder of the importance of not pushing your employees (or yourself) to burnout. The dread of Monday morning has even inspired a hashtag: #SundayScaries.

The article has some stark statistics,

  • 80% of adults feel a surge in stress on Sunday nights related to their jobs;
  • 62% of working adults between the ages of 23 and 38 felt pressure to be available around the clock through electronic means; and
  • Every hour a boss spent online translated to an extra 20 minutes of work for their direct reports outside of normal business hours.

What Does Your Sunday Night Look Like?

Many productivity experts recommend that you take some time on Sunday night to prepare for the upcoming week. Instead of being overwhelmed on Monday morning, you can spend a little time to plan out your week. I’ve tried to do this process for years. Sometimes it works, but many times, there’s just too much to do at the end of a weekend. Especially after a long holiday weekend, that final night can feel like a rush to get things done.

One company (Vynamic) created an email system that diverts all emails sent after 10:00 to a queue that will deliver the message the following morning at 6:00. Another director at a consulting firm drafts emails on Sundays but doesn’t send them until Monday morning. (There are also services that will help you schedule when your email is sent as well so you don’t have a large mailbox of draft emails waiting for you on a Monday morning).

Every person has their own system for how they handle the end of the weekend. For some people, the end of the weekend could be a completely different day of the week if they don’t work Monday – Friday. But even if you enjoy emailing late into the evening, don’t forget about those who you work with. They may feel pressure to respond immediately. It could be ruining their weekend (and hopefully that’s not your intention)…

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