If your transition from one week to the next isn’t always a smooth one, implement these habits to set yourself up for success. That way, you’ll sleep easy on Sunday night and start fresh Monday morning.
Even if your week doesn’t start on a Monday, tweak it so you’re following these steps on whatever day feels most like the end of your week.
1. Back up your devices
Trust me on this one. If you’re not already in the habit of doing this, there’ll come a day when you’ll regret it. (Ask me how I know.) Back up all your important files and folders, including all the photos on your phone, and thank me later.
2. Tie up loose ends
We all have tasks we want to complete but then the days get away from us. Now’s the time to play catch up so they don’t roll forward into the following week. Finish off that last load of laundry, reply to emails you flagged as requiring follow-up and then forgot about, read those articles you saved, oil that squeaky hinge…
Clear off your tasks so you’re not facing into Monday with an ‘already overdue’ list.
3. Reset your space
Starting the week with a messy desk isn’t exactly setting yourself up for success. Take some time on a Sunday to do a quick tidy. All the better if it includes some decluttering; you don’t need to bring that junk into the new week with you.
It doesn’t have to be a marathon cleaning spree, but empty out your purse (you know you’ve a bunch of old receipts in there), clear off the kitchen table, file those papers, put out fresh towels, and empty the bins.
Use Sunday to clear the slate clean so you can start fresh Monday morning.
I’m a big believer in reviewing progress. Take some time each Sunday to sit down and look back at the week that was. What went well? What could you improve on in the coming week? What lesson did you learn so you can avoid repeating the same mistake? What are you most grateful for?
Life is about incremental improvement and, when you take a moment to really cherish it, you’ll notice it doesn’t slip by quite so quickly.
Now that you’ve officially waved goodbye to the week that was, it’s time to welcome the new one.
5. Write out your schedule & to-do list for the week
You don’t have to plan things down to the minute, but having a clear idea of where you need to be and what you need to do will help you get organised in advance (more on this in just a moment). It will also give you a heads up to where you might need to reschedule or move things around. Better to know now than when you’re already getting ready to go.
Remember to set aside time for some self care and to work towards those bigger goals too.
6. Set out clothes for the coming week
Every Sunday afternoon I pick outfits for both myself and Scout for the coming week. I can’t tell you how much stress this saves. In fact, if you were only going to pick one of these Sunday habits to try, this should be it.
For me, I notice that I tend to dress better when my outfits are chosen in advance. When a little more thought goes into it, I feel a lot more polished.
For Scout… well, if you’ve ever let a child choose for themselves what they’re going to wear, you’ll know you can basically kiss goodbye to the next half hour. Pick outfits in advance and then, each night, hang the clothes for the next day on their closet door where they can easily see and reach them in the morning.
Maybe you don’t think this will work because you’ve got independent kids who like to make their own decisions. (Scout is five, going on fifteen.) Never fear. Here are two ways you can make your life easier:
a) Choose seven outfits and line them up. Then, weather- and event-dependent, let your child choose from those seven options.
b) Leave out an outfit but let your child choose which shoes and accessories they’ll wear with it.
By simply limiting the options, they still get to feel independent and in control, and you get to keep your sanity and save yourself several hours a week. Trust me, this is a game-changer.
Once your schedule and to-do list is written, you’ll clearly be able to see what upcoming commitments you have. That way you can plan and prep for them effectively, thus significantly decreasing your chances of forgetting something important or being caught unawares.
For example, having meals already planned or, better yet, prepared will save you a lot of time and frustration. (And money! No more grabbing a snack at a cafe because you didn’t have time to make breakfast.)
Likewise, having your bag ready to go will make your morning routine a breeze. Pack what you need beforehand, and then all you’ll have to do in the morning is pick it up. (Leave it in front of your door or even in your car so you can’t forget it.)
Essentially, what it all boils down to is completing and debriefing the week that’s just been, and planning and prepping for the week that lies ahead.
And that, friends, is the secret to successful Sundays and stress-free Mondays.
READY TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP?
If you want to know the ultimate secrets to planning and executing your most productive day, including how to hack your to-do list and increase your willpower, check out the Productivity Power-Up e-course. To see the full curriculum of everything you’ll learn, and to watch a free preview of the introductory module, click that button below and get ready to do things you never thought possible.