'Bare Minimum Mondays' TikTok trend: what is it, why are people doing it and what do experts say about it?

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The trend seems to be particularly popular among people from the Gen Z generation

For those of us who work a typical Monday to Friday working week, Monday mornings do always seem to come around again very quickly. No matter how much we love our jobs, it can be a bit of a challenge to readjust to once again become our professional selves after a weekend spent socialising and relaxing.

If we’re being honest, we might not always be as productive as we possibly can be first thing on a Monday morning, but previously we would have been encouraged to keep that quiet. However, that’s not the case anymore. In a new TikToktrend, many young people are posting videos on the social media site explaining why they are taking part in a new trend called ‘bare minimum Mondays’. It seems to be particularly popular with people from Gen Z, who are aged up to 26.

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The concept is exactly what it sounds like - people are admitting to doing as little as possible during their working day on a Monday to help ease themselves into the week. Videos related to the topic now have over 522 million views on TikTok - and the view count is continuing to grow. It’s another different approach to working which is moving away from the traditional 9 to 5, following on from the trends for homeworking and also the four-day working week.

So, what exactly are people doing when they take part in the bare minimum Mondays trend, why are people doing it, and what do experts think of it? Here’s everything you need to know.

What exactly are people doing on bare minimum Mondays?

When people take part in bare minimum Mondays, they are taking a more relaxed approach to their work. For some, this might be performing tasks which are only absolutely necessary, while leaving any others to be tackled on another day. For others it might be working at a slower pace than normal - but not so slow that this could lead to negative attention from co-workers or their boss. 

Some people may also change their working environment so they can be more comfortable. For example, they may sit and work on their sofa, instead of being sat at their desk and they may put the television on in the background. Workers may also choose to give themselves more breaks during the day or an extended lunch break so that they have more time to relax.

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Tiktokers are talking about having 'bare minimum Mondays' on the social media site.Tiktokers are talking about having 'bare minimum Mondays' on the social media site.
Tiktokers are talking about having 'bare minimum Mondays' on the social media site. | TikTok/NationalWorld/Kim Mogg

People also tend to dedicate part of their day to doing things for themselves, such as fun pastimes or well-being activities, rather than spending the whole day working. They will allow themselves free time to enjoy themselves after completing essential tasks.

Why are people taking part in bare minimum Mondays?

TikTok users claim that by taking part in bare minimum Mondays they are reducing their stress and improving their wellbeing. They also say that having this more informal approach to work allows them to refuel and also prevents them from feeling ‘Sunday scaries’ - the feeling of dread that some people get on a Sunday when they think about going back to work on a Monday. As the famous song by The Bangles goes “it's just another manic Monday, I wish it was Sunday ‘cause that's my fun day, my I don't have to run day, it's just another manic Monday.”

The trend is thought to have been started by TikTok user ‘itsmarisajo’, who posted a TikTok video explaining why she came up with the idea. She said: “I used to feel so anxious every Sunday and wake up on Monday feeling already overwhelmed because of the long task list that I made for myself. Then I would inevitably not finish everything on the task list and that would leave me feeling defeated at the very beginning of my week.”

The TikTok user said that she holds herself accountable by making sure she gets through “bare minimum work tasks” that she decides upon on Sunday night. In that way, she decides how to spend the rest of her Monday, whether that’s by doing some kind of self-care routine or anything that can help set her up for the rest of the week. “That feels way better than starting out with an extremely long list, only getting this many done and then feeling really guilty about not finishing all of it.” 

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She says as a result, she’s “no longer stressed on Sunday” or even the rest of the week, which ends up becoming more productive. 

What do experts think of bare minimum Mondays?

Experts have told NationalWorld that they believe the trend could have benefits for some people, but may also pose challenges for others.

Geraldine Joaquim, clinical hypnotherapist and wellness coach, says that the trend needn’t be problematic, as long as people are still being productive and completing all the tasks they need to do during the week overall. “I think this is another example of the stress that people have been under for such a long time – it’s on the heels of other trends such as ‘quiet quitting’ where you’re not quitting your job, but rather turning your back on the idea of going above and beyond.” Joaquim also believes that it could be a response to the changes in how we view the working week now, as many people are working remotely, and the traditional ‘9 to 5’ is no longer as relevant as it once was. “There’s a shift in focus towards effective productivity rather than the number of hours you spend at your desk.”

 She adds: “It's certainly true that creativity isn’t restricted to certain days or times of the week, so enabling employees to enjoy a more free-flow approach may result in improved productivity and creativity, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Personally, I rarely book anything into my diary for Monday mornings, or Friday afternoons either, just to sandwich the week, but I’m also happy to work into the evening or at weekends, whereas other people may prefer to keep work within certain hours and days, and maintain personal time free from work intrusions.”

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Geraldine Joaquim, clinical hypnotherapist and wellness coach. Photo by Kerry Harrison.Geraldine Joaquim, clinical hypnotherapist and wellness coach. Photo by Kerry Harrison.
Geraldine Joaquim, clinical hypnotherapist and wellness coach. Photo by Kerry Harrison. | Kerry Harrison

 Joaquim also says she believes the trend could be influenced by people’s weekend behaviours and sleep patterns. She said that social jetlag, a term coined by  German researcher Till Roennenberg in 2006, may lead to people feeling more tired on a Monday morning. Social jetlag occurs when a person has a different sleep schedule at the weekend and therefore struggles to wake up or be effective in their task completion on a Monday morning. People may also be affected by sleep issues which could impact on their sleeping pattern and in turn their productivity.

Juliet Landau-Pope, social scientist and productivity expert acknowledges that switching back into work mode after the weekend is often a challenge. “No wonder ‘that Monday morning feeling’ gets such bad press, and also no surprise that the idea of bare minimum Mondays is proving so popular.”

She continued that she believes taking this approach to Mondays could boost productivity in the long run and help to improve wellbeing. She advised that people could try not scheduling important meetings or not agreeing to deadlines on Mondays. She added: “Decluttering your diary on Mondays by cutting down on commitments is a sure-fire way of reducing stress and limiting the likelihood of burnout. In addition, many people who work four days per week get just as much done and also report higher levels of health and wellbeing. So taking it easy on Monday could mean that you have more energy and enthusiasm from Tuesday to Friday. Reducing your workload on a Monday can definitely enhance your ability to relax and enjoy time off at the weekend too so no more Sunday evening blues.”

Productivity coach and social scientist, Juliet Landau-Pope. Photo by Henrietta Garden.Productivity coach and social scientist, Juliet Landau-Pope. Photo by Henrietta Garden.
Productivity coach and social scientist, Juliet Landau-Pope. Photo by Henrietta Garden. | Henrietta Garden

There could also be issues with the trend, however as Landau-Pope says that you could be paid on an hourly basis or employed on a short-term contract, which means that bare minimum Monday isn’t likely to be affordable nor feasible. “If you’re part of a team it may be difficult to explain to colleagues or clients that you’re not fully available. And if you’re self-employed or working as a freelancer, you’re likely to miss out on important opportunities.”

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