Transcript from my 2nd Toast Master Speech – Project #2. Organized Speech Outline
My speech today will focus on the days of the week. The meanings and values we associate with these days and some personal observation I’ve made about how we view specific days.
Now to start I want to take you to a specific time and day of the week in my life. The time is 7pm in the evening and I hear the sound of the clock… tick tick tick tick tick. Like a trained dog, my habitual reactionary mind knows what this sound means. It’s the television show 60 minutes and so my Sunday night blues begins. Now don’t get me wrong, 60 minutes is a great show which unfortunately airs on Sunday nights. And that clock sound and show has long been the symbol of the end of the weekend for me.
Yes, the weekend is over and the 5-day workweek is about to begin starting with the painful Monday morning wake up. If you have not guessed it, I’m not that guy at work who says to co-workers “happy Monday”. Ugh.
I can even see this Sunday blues syndrome developing with my children. When my oldest son reached age 10 his school work starting getting more difficult and complex. It was at that point his Sunday innocence started to leave. Yup. One Sunday it took just one look at his face to realize, “oh no, he’s got those blues now too”.
Getting back to Mondays, as I start the morning commute I constantly find myself daydreaming about Friday! “Happy Friday” will be here in 5 more days. Friday nights are awesome. Pizza night. The weekend is ahead! Two full days.
Meanwhile let’s not forget another big day of the week, Wednesday. The heavily marketed “hump day”. You’ve seen those insurance commercials with the camel running around the office screaming its hump day. Halfway to Friday, oh come on baby!
There are many studies on the Sunday Blues and how we react to the days of the week. To provide a few findings:
Job search site Monster.com found that more than 76% of US workers surveyed have really bad Sunday blues.
For many of us, Sunday Blues stirs up old feelings from early schooldays as we worried about unfinished homework and tests we were not prepared for.
Blue Monday falls on the 3rd Monday of the week in January and apparently is statistically known as the most depressing day of the year because of the unfortunate combination of post Christmas blues, cold weather, dark nights and mounting debt.
Author Tim Ferris has a popular book called The 4 Hour Work Week where he teaches how to maximize time to work more efficiently. No longer is it a badge of honor for logging in 60+ hour work weeks.
There are also many useful tips and techniques to help with Sunday Blues such as:
To not beat yourself up on Sunday’s for the things you did not accomplish over the weekend because you had to spontaneously check out that great movie.
Taking 15 minutes out of your Sunday to prepare a weeks worth of outfits which can reduce daily wardrobe stress.
Making sure to schedule something for Monday that you really look forward to and makes you feel energetic.
One of my friends is a natural optimist and consistently uses the phrase “make every day great”. And when he says this it sounds legit and truly a reality to strive for.
And of course we hear people tell us the key to success is to be passionate about your work and love how you live. Truisms for sure. Yet we also have the reality to balance this idealism with the life pressures of rent, mortgages and family responsibilities.
Now I’d like to exclusively make an announcement to everyone in the room!
I will be headed to Washington, DC to lobby for a 3 day work week of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Imagine no more Monday’s to dread nor Friday’s to to spend the week working for because we will just have them off. And Hump day stays Wednesday!
In case this 3 day work week does not actually happen, there can be a real negative effect on our lives by measuring the week by Monday’s, Wednesdays, Friday’s and Sunday’s. And I believe stopping this to better understand what we actually want from life can serve us well.
So when we become self aware that we’re just striving to get through the week it can serve as a wake up call to figure out what we should be doing that will bring out our true talents and passions.
Don’t expect this to come easily. Figuring out your wants can be elusive. Ask your friends what they want and you’ll probably find most can’t clearly define it.
In conclusion, to get to the heart of the matter I’m starting to understand that following our heart and mind are certainly important but it’s from our gut that can guide us best. Taking a gut check on what will truly ignite us takes courage, bravery and risk. But identifying at our gut level can make my optimistic friends phrase “make every day great” a true reality for all of us.
Oh, and finally I have one more thing…. if I do get that 3 day work week past on Capitol Hill for a Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday workweek, be on the look out for my next Toast Master speech entitled “Those Tuesday Morning Blues”