Work: 12% Monday, 5% Friday?

The picture on this t-shirt is a joke. It states: “Always give 100% at Work: 12% Monday; 23% Tuesday; 40% Wednesday; 20% Thursday; 5% Friday.”

But it’s interesting that its creator chose not to spread the work evenly across the week. His/her view of labor supply suggests a temporal dimension that seems sensible:  More work on Monday than on Friday, more on Tuesday than on Thursday, with peak work effort on Wednesday.  In terms of labor productivity, this does not seem very far wrong.

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  1. BL1Y says:

    I don’t recall if I read this from y’all or from Dan Ariely, but both pain and pleasure are intensified by starting and stopping. If you’re going to exercise, it’s better (in terms of discomfort) to do it all at once, rather than half in the morning and half in the evening. If you’re going to have a slice of cake though, have half the slice right after dinner, and save the other half to go with your nightcap. Changes in our present situation are more pronounced than a continuation of the same.

    No reason why work should be very different. Try to get all your work done in big batches. If you think about how much it sucks to come back to work after your lunch break, or to come in to work on a Friday morning, it makes sense to just stay late a couple days, work through lunch, and then relax more the other days.

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    • Tall Man says:

      Ahh, but then you have clumped the pleasure of your days off into a group, thereby diminishing that enjoyment. Maybe you should split up your weekend so you have a break day in the middle of the week.

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  2. Chris says:

    I recall reading that Tuesday was the most productive day of a weekly only because most meetings are scheduled on Tuesdays. This would then correlate with Wednesday being the day when the most work is completed.

    But isn’t a shirt like this just asking for some oblivious employer to say, 5% of work done on Fridays, well I might as well not have people work Fridays and assign longer hours on Wednesday and Thursday!

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    • Bridget says:

      I would’ve thought, just from personal experience, that a day when the most meetings are scheduled would be the least productive…

      And I would not mind working longer hours during the week in order to have Fridays off! Maybe I’ll forward this on to my manager.

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      • James says:

        Maybe meeting days are more productive because it’s mostly managers who go to meetings, leaving us peons free to actually get something done :-)

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  3. TJ says:

    My humble explanation:

    Monday: Sit in meetings figuring out what didn’t happen last week.
    Tuesday: Sit in meetings figuring out how to do what didn’t happen last week.
    Wednesday: Start working on what didn’t happen last week.
    Thursday: Sit in meetings figuring out what needs to happen next week.
    Friday: Put off work till next week because its almost the WEEKEND!
    :-)

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  4. jonathan says:

    The essential point is really, IMHO, that work for a week defines a context. It is a quantity defined by expectations meeting, meaning where your internal expectations meet those imposed. If you’re reasonably right, then you would naturally divide up that work. This occurs because few jobs demand extremely high production. One reason for that is an equivalent of WIP: your office process needs enough slack to handle work demands that exceed expectations by more than the usual deviations. If a company can’t handle those bulges, then they tend to run behind, which is bad for morale, causes turnover and causes poor work product. A company won’t staff to handle bulges if it can’t afford to, if it’s run by jerks, or if times are bad and people are materially less willing to quit.

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  5. Rick says:

    This is similar to an urban legend that I used to hear frequently. Don’t buy cars manufactured on a Monday or Friday. Not Monday because workers were recovering from the weekend. Not Friday because people were thinking about the weekend.

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  6. Megan says:

    I would say that is not the work week of a procrastinator. My 4-day week is more like:
    5% Tuesday
    15% Wednesday
    20% Thursday
    60% Friday

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  7. Esca says:

    I don’t quite remember where I read this.. But aparently we work the least on Mondays, especially after vacations. It seems we need a day to “get going”.

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  8. Thomas Feldman says:

    This short article tells us the basic work effort in america. Also this is also true for most students in school. They work hard on Wednesday but declines Thursday Friday and Tuesday Monday.

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