For some people, Sunday is a day to relax, walk around the house in underwear (or even nothing at all), catch up on the latest TV series or simply…sleep. For others, it’s a day to do all the fun things they didn’t have time to do during the week. And then, there are workaholics, who will still find a way to work on Sundays. Which one are you? Do you prefer to chill with a tub of ice cream and tissues, watching Titanic for the hundredth time, or go jogging? Or, do you prefer to pretend Sunday is just another Monday but without having to leave the house?
Whichever category you fall into, there is always room for improvement. Sunday doesn’t have to be basic, boring or stressful. In fact, it can be the most important day of the week, depending on how you spend it.
Being the day before a new week starts, Sunday has a major influence on how the entire week will go. If you can spend a part of your Sunday planning for the week ahead, you’d be surprised at how much of a difference it would make. The truth is, many of us waste Sunday, either lazing about or worrying about the coming week.
It’s easy to dread Mondays because you have to go from relaxing for just two days, to working 9-5 for five days straight. Poor Monday, everybody just hates him. But do you know it’s possible to look forward to Monday? I promise, it’s no magic trick. All it takes is proper strategizing and the right mindset.
Now, I know “strategizing” sounds like work—relax, I’m not suggesting you work on Sundays too. However, spending some time out of your Sunday to plan the week ahead will not only save you the stress of squeezing your dozens of to-do tasks into the week but also help you take on these tasks with a positive mindset.
In essence, a productive Sunday translates to a productive week. By productive, I am referring to proper organization and generally doing things that bring you closer to achieving your goals. We all have short and long-term goals we’d like to achieve, but if you keep moving from one week to the other, dreading the week and the work you have to put in, you are less likely to achieve any of those goals anytime soon.
There are several problems you can avoid by planning your week ahead of time. In fact, you can prevent work spilling over to the weekend just by taking an hour or two out of your Sunday to organize your tasks for the week into a comprehensive spreadsheet (oh no, this is starting to sound like work, sorry!). But truly, if you want to see actual progress, start from Sunday, so that your life will not just be the typical routine:
- Go to work
- Hate your boss
- Spill coffee on your computer
- Hate your job
- Stress through 8 hours of the day
- Countdown to 5pm
- Worry because you couldn’t finish the day’s tasks before 5pm
- Cry and go home
- Eat boring food
- Wake up
Well, using your Sunday strategically may not change the fact that your boss sucks, but it will help you be more productive so that you can achieve that goal of actually being your own boss, or at least doing what you love. Here are 10 things you should do every Sunday for a productive week. You might like to call them…the rules of life (okay, maybe it’s not that deep). Nonetheless! Let’s go.
1. Chores, chores, chores
Now, I’m sure you didn’t think I’d let you off without cleaning the house under the guise of “planning and strategizing for the week.” Nah, fam. Pick up your cleaning tools, tie your hair into a messy bun, and scrub that house clean. If your environment is not clean and ready for the week then neither are you.
It’s way more stressful coming back tired from work and finding clutter on the floor or dishes in the sink. The best time to clean up is over the weekend. You can do this on Saturday actually, but supposing you were out with friends or went partying, then Sunday remains the only day to get things in order. Before you sit down to plan your week, do all your chores so you have nothing holding you down in the background.
2. Sleep is for the weak
Okay, this is an exaggeration (phew). However, there is nothing more unproductive than sleeping all through your Sunday. Yes, the week was stressful and tiring. Yes, that party was fun and tiring. But sleeping the whole day away will only leave you unprepared for the week, resulting in another stress-filled week and another weekend where you just want to sleep and sleep – and behold, the cycle continues.
Break the cycle. Shatter it. I’m not suggesting you have to wake up early (why would you do that?). In fact, getting enough sleep is recommended, but when it stretches into the whole day, well, you’ll be missing out on a lot. So, on Sundays, sleep, yes, sleep well, but make sure you get up early enough to do all you need to do for the day.
3. Reflect on the past week
Often, we move on to the next week without assessing how the previous week went, what we did wrong, what we did right and what we should never do again (like calling your ex). Sundays are a great time to reflect on the past week and draw lessons from your experiences.
What could you have done better? Try and implement it in the coming week. What could you have avoided? Try and avoid it this week. Did you achieve your goals for last week? If yes, kudos! If not, re-strategize for the coming week.
This should be the highlight of your Sunday. Plan. Prepare. Strategize. List out your tasks for the week and organize them into time slots. There are several mobile apps you could use to help you plan your health, finances, calorie intake and workout schedule (if you have the time to workout during the week).
While some people can plan their lives down to the smallest detail, others simply plan the bigger things and let other things fall in place. Whichever you are, ensure you plan regardless. You don’t have to write down each and everything you will do, how many times you will go to the bathroom or which lipstick to wear on Wednesday. Focus on important things like getting to work on time, having the necessary documents ready for your first task, reading ahead for your next class or seminar, etc.
The purpose of organizing your week is so that everything does not overwhelm and choke you. When you know what you’ll be dealing with beforehand, it will be less tasking and less stressful for you to handle. Of course, unexpected tasks or circumstances may spring up, but that is all the more reason to be prepared. Imagine having so many things to do at once and then to top it off, your car breaks down. The frustration is enough to have you growing grey hair! If you have everything neatly planned out, minor setbacks will not set you back so much.
Depending on your occupation and how cluttered your week can get, you will need to spend an hour or so planning out your week. That one hour of planning can help the next 120 hours of the coming week be less cumbersome.
5. Set Priorities
When planning out your week, it is important to set priorities. So, spending 2 hours on your makeup and outfit everyday may not be worth it. Write out your goals for the week, and assign deadlines to each one. For this to be effective, you have to minimize procrastination as much as possible. If you set a task for 10:00 a.m. on Monday, do it at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, not 10:25 a.m. on Monday or 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, unless entirely necessary.
Put the most important goals at the top of your list and check them off as you accomplish them. That way, you track your progress (please note, it doesn’t have to be pen and paper, your smartphone is even much better to help with this).
6. Condition your mind for a productive week
They say mindset has a lot to do with how productive you are. Well, I don’t know who “they” are but “they” are right. If you go into the new week sad, anxious or worried, you are likely to have a bad week just as you imagined.
Now, breathe. Acknowledge that you will have a number of things to do. But also acknowledge that you will do them all on time and do them well.
Have a positive mindset about the coming week. Think of it as an opportunity to be productive, to meet and spend time with people, and to draw closer to achieving your goals. This way, you will not dread the week, but instead look forward to it, live in the moment and enjoy the moment.
7. Pick out outfits for the whole week
This might seem obvious but it actually isn’t. Many of us just wing it and pick the first thing we see in our closet on a Monday morning. Alas, I tell you – there is a better way. Supposing you followed the first thing on this list and did all your chores including laundry, you should have all your clothes clean and neatly ironed.
Now, select outfits for Monday to Friday, even down to the shoes that will go with each outfit. Believe it or not, picking the right shoes is a real crisis that people experience when getting ready for work.
If you’re going to wear a striped tie on Wednesday, do not pick out a dotted shirt for Wednesday. Knowing you look good will make you more confident to take on the week!
8. Eating habits
With busy schedules, it’s easy to lose track of eating healthy. You may not have time to cook during the week, but making an effort to plan your eating habits on Sunday will go a long way in helping you stay healthy.
While your meals may most often be take outs, try to fit in healthy meals you can quickly cook when you get home or order more healthy meals throughout the week.
You can even cook one or two meals on Sunday that you can store in the freezer and warm up after a long day at work. Of course, they may not last you the whole week, but it will give you a kick-start.
9. Do something that interests you
Make an effort to learn something that you find interesting and start practicing it every Sunday. By the end of the year, you would have mastered it and added value to yourself.
This could be playing an instrument, a sport, dancing, or even spending more time with your kid, dog or that special someone.
10. Finally, relax
After planning out your week and putting everything in order, you my friend, deserve to relax. Treat yourself, go for a massage, take a very long bubble bath – whatever you find relaxing, do it. Without proper rest and relaxation, all the above mentioned will be in vain.
You need to go into the week refreshed and ready to take on the world. You know what they say, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull dog,” or something like that. Similarly, all work and no play makes you an unproductive…you. Take care of you, I mean, all of you.
Make this week a great one!
So, you see, having a productive week has a lot to do with what your Sunday looks like.
If you ever felt like your week starts from Monday, well, it is clear that it should start from Sunday, with a plan, a positive mindset, priorities, and relaxation. You never know how much more you could accomplish if you weren’t always tired, anxious or stressed.
Make an effort to do these 10 things every Sunday so that you can enjoy a productive week. With consistency, you are sure to see progress. It may not be easy, and you may feel tempted to crawl into bed and stay there the whole day, but remember, a little goes a long way. A little time spent planning will go a long way in ensuring a productive week, and invariably, a productive lifestyle.
You might also like:
- Journal Prompts For Self Discovery: 35 Questions To Ask Yourself
- 20 Productive Things To Do At Home When You Are Bored
- 30 Easy Ways To Improve Yourself Little By Little Every Day
- Top 10 Morning Habits To Supercharge Your Day With Positivity
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This post originally appeared on MindHerWay.com as 10 Things To Do Every Sunday For A Productive Week and has been republished with the permission of the author.