As much as I’d love to be the type of person who dives into a new week fully prepared, organized for work and daily chores, I’m not. I’m the person who hits the snooze button multiple times before getting out of bed. I wake up late, sleepy from being a “night owl,” scrambling to find my car keys, and struggling to prepare my son for a new week of preschool.
I know I’m not alone when I say that Fridays are my happiest days. The weekend’s right around the corner, and I begin envisioning relaxing with my family all day. But come Sunday, I start to feel the stress of a new week, knowing that once Monday morning arrives, busy days filled with meetings and housekeeping routines will take over.
Starting a busy week unprepared and unorganized will not set you up for success. It’s important to take advantage of your Sundays and try developing healthy habits that lead to a more productive and less stressful new week.
Here are five things to do on Sunday to make this a great week.
1. Review your calendar
Sunday afternoon, take out your calendar and review it with close attention. Look at your next meetings, your traveling plans, or your to-do list for the week. Reviewing your schedule for the next week will make you feel more prepared for it. For example, if I have a big meeting on Tuesday, I’ll make sure my best outfit is ready to wear.
I also find it very useful knowing in advance if I have to buy gifts for an upcoming birthday or being aware of any work-related deadlines. I may take advantage of my Sunday trip to the store and buy a present, or even go to sleep early so I can start my Monday early in order to meet my deadline.
2. Do a little meal prep
I always feel more prepared if I do some meal prepping on Sunday. I usually like to make a plan before I shop for my meals, and I often get inspired from recipe blogs and cookbooks. Planning what my family will eat throughout the week and going to the grocery store in order to have all the ingredients on hand makes a huge difference for me. You don’t have to stress about what you need and can avoid having to make last minute runs to the grocery store on a weeknight.
3. Tidy up
I hate cleaning the house, especially on a Sunday. But I’ve found that if I do just a little tidying up like cleaning the kitchen table or emptying the fridge of all of last week’s leftovers — which takes about 15 minutes — I can wake Monday morning and just concentrate on the new week, instead of trying to catch up before the sun is up.
A few things that will help you to quickly tidy up are clearing off the kitchen counter, emptying your trash and recycling bins, and changing the bedding and towels.
4. Go to bed early
An early bedtime allows you to be fully rested on Monday, which is very important for a new, productive week. And don’t just go to bed, actually go to sleep. If I fall asleep earlier than I typically do, around 10 p.m., the next morning I feel more rested than usual. But if I lay in bed and start scrolling through my Facebook feed instead of closing my eyes, I will definitely wake up on Monday tired and dizzy, not wanting to do anything. So, put your phone down, turn off the lights, and relax. If you’re a “night owl,” like me, start turning the lights down or darken the room an hour earlier than usual.
5. Take time for yourself
While getting organized for the week ahead, I also try to make time for me. Doing yoga, reading a book, catching up with a friend, seeing a movie, or taking a hot bubble bath helps me reset and renew my energy.
On Sunday evening, I try to relax or meditate. A little quiet time — just for 15 minutes — with no distractions and no interruptions helps me sustain myself throughout a busy week. The important thing is to not forget about your own well-being. This way, you will feel mentally, physically, and emotionally prepared for the week ahead.
Originally published on November 10, 2017.