office hours

The Best Workday Is Sunday

Hard at work! Photo: David Corio/Redferns/Getty Images

It was either God or Bruce Springsteen who first said that Sunday is a day on which one should do no work. In Exodus 20:8, a chapter (?) of the Bible that I have definitely read, it was decreed, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work.” No disrespect to either God or Bruce Springsteen, but I have to humbly disagree.

To many, Sunday is the most miserable day of the week. Why? Because it signifies that the workweek is about to begin and that the magnificent party of the weekend is over. The four-day workweek has been bandied about as a potential cure to the sadness that overcomes us on Sunday nights. If we had longer weekends and more free time, we’d not have to confront five horrible days of work ahead of us while basking in the glow of Sunday-night football. In only four days of work, it is said, we could get the same amount done that we do in five. Unfortunately, in America, it is basically illegal to not work almost constantly, so I would like to propose an exciting and more realistic alternative.

Sunday is the best workday. Forget the four-day workweek — the six-day workweek is what’s up.

The two most distracting things about work are emails and colleagues. You try to sit down to get something done and blammo, you’re hit with 40,000 emails that you must respond to immediately. By the time you’ve worked your way through that horrid correspondence, kaboom, a colleague is up in your face asking if you watched the Eagles game on Sunday. Yes, Sean. I watched the Eagles game on Sunday — now could you please leave me to my ever-growing mountain of shit? God.

The beauty of working on Sunday is that it’s easy to get through those rote, mundane tasks without any annoying distractions. Am I suggesting that you sit down at 9 a.m. every Sunday and promptly clock out from your self-imposed overtime at 5 p.m.? No. Am I saying that we should work on Sunday as a way to add more hours to our already oversubscribed workweeks? Not at all. Getting some stuff done on Sunday is the equivalent of those people who don’t actually sleep at night but take frequent short interval naps. Get a little done on Sunday, have a little fun on Friday. Write an email on Sunday, watch a YouTube video on Thursday. Present You is simply looking out for Future You.

The beauty about setting yourself up for a strong start on Monday morning by putting in some mindless work on Sunday is that when the distractions do come (which they will), you will feel more at ease to welcome them. Getting constant Gchats on Tuesday about the Brangelina divorce? Go ahead, gab about it. Been waiting to catch up on that 16,000-word New Yorker profile of the man who opened a ladder-refurbishing factory in Oslo? Now’s your chance. You’re already going to be depressed on Sunday evening. So take a little bit of a load off. The game’s on, you’ve got a beer in hand — send a few emails with your eyes closed.

The only problem is, we can’t all adopt this genius scheme together, or else we’ll just be back to where we started. So, uh, please don’t tell anyone about what I just told you. Thanks.

The Best Workday Is Sunday