'Bare Minimum Mondays' Is the Latest Work-Life Balance Term, Courtesy of TikTok

Mondays are the best days to do the bare minimum, according to a self-employed TikToker, but the advice is resonating with people online everywhere.

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By Gabrielle Bienasz

One TikToker started using a method called "bare minimum Mondays" to describe a work strategy she used to mitigate burnout and stress — and the term has since gone viral.

Marisa Jo Mayes, 29, told Insider she was working in sales when she found herself burnt out. So, she quit her job at a medical manufacturing company and co-founded a productivity tools startup called Spacetime Monotasking, according to her LinkedIn.

But it didn't fix anything for the Atlanta resident. "I was still approaching work the same way as in my corporate job," she told the outlet, in a "cycle of stress and burnout."

Related: 3 Ways to Avoid the Quiet Quitting of Your Gen Z Employees

Mayes then decided on a new approach. Instead of creating a massive to-do list every Sunday and burning herself out trying to accomplish it every Monday, she set a new mandate: do the bare minimum on Mondays.

"Bare minimum Mondays" means only what needs to be done to get through the day, Mayes said, including not scheduling meetings and doing more "creative" tasks, and focusing on self-care.

@itsmarisajo Reply to @itsmarisajo #bareminimummonday ♬ Young Folks - Shindig Society

The term has caught on in recent weeks, even though Mayes has been posting about it since at least March 2022. This comes after several new workplace terms have emerged, like quiet quitting, for example, which is defined as doing as little as possible for their job, or "quiet firing," which is when employers delay employee promotions or implement sky-high performance goals to incentivize them to leave.

Related: 'Quiet Firing' Is Taking the Workplace by Storm. What Is It Exactly?

One LinkedIn analysis found that more people are staying in jobs for less than a year, "something that was once seen as a standard amount of time to stay in a job," with some calling it "fast quitting."

Now, "bare minimum Mondays" is the new TikTok trend, inspiring op-eds in CNN defending Generation Z from accusations that "the younger generation is made up of coddled self-care obsessives" and satires in The Guardian.

"For goodness sake, is Gen Z pretending to have invented slacking off again? Not at all. Don't think of Bare Minimum Mondays as slacking off. Think of it as protective self-care," The Guardian wrote.

Mayes has also posted videos with her routine for "bare minimum Mondays," which has over 18,000 views.

@itsmarisajo I don't even want to know what my life would look like without Bare Minimum Monday & @spacetimemonotasking ? #wfh #selfemployed #worklifewellbeing #bareminimummonday #bareminimummondays #burnoutrecovery #selfemployedlife ♬ Theme From A Summer Place - Percy Faith

Mayes claims she's received online hate for the concept, such as people calling her a "lazy, unmotivated person who lacks worth ethic."

"If being called lazy is the price I have to pay to be happier, healthier, and more productive overall—I'll take it," she wrote in response to the criticism.

@itsmarisajo If being called lazy is the price I have to pay to be happier, healthier, and more productive overall— I'll take it Bare Minimum Monday forever ? #bareminimummonday #bareminimummondays ♬ Theme From A Summer Place - Percy Faith

One Axios and Generation Lab poll of people age 18 to 29 in the U.S. found that 82% of respondents said doing the least required possible to keep their jobs was pretty or extremely appealing.

Gabrielle Bienasz

Entrepreneur Staff

Gabrielle Bienasz is a staff writer at Entrepreneur. She previously worked at Insider and Inc. Magazine. 

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