No one likes Mondays. The return to status quo, less time with your loved ones, and a mountain of tasks waiting for you at work makes for a Misery Cocktail, party of you. Starting your week out in a rush makes it feel like you’ll never catch up. But taking a little time out of your Sunday Netflix-binging to prepare for the week ahead can help jumpstart your to-do list and make Monday a little less, well, awful.
Plan Your Week
Make a list of everything you need to do during the week. This can be for work and home, or you can make a list for each. Just seeing your tasks laid out rather than looming around in your head can alleviate some pre-week anxiety, and limit the things you need to think about Monday morning. I love using a physical planner for this, but online calendars or your Notes app can work too.
Plan Your Meals
Planning out my meals for the week alleviates so much daily stress for me, and helps me to waste less food. Going grocery shopping once a week with a meal plan in mind has saved me time, money, and energy. It also encourages healthier eating, rather than throwing together grilled cheese or pasta on a busy Wednesday night.
I like using my Sunday to meal prep as much of my breakfasts and lunches for the week as well. I don’t have the time to pack a thoughtful lunch on a weekday morning, so meal prepping saves me time and ensures I get balanced, healthy meals that give me steady energy for a productive day.
Plan Your Budget
Sunday is also a good time to look at your finances for the week ahead. What are your upcoming expenses? Do you have bills due or friends coming into town? Are you getting paid? What can you save? Taking a look at your finances at the start of the week can help avoid surprises and curb impulse-spending.
Clean Your Physical Space
As someone who works from home frequently, I am always more productive and happy when my apartment is relatively clean. And even when I was working a regular 9-to-5, seeing dirty dishes when I came home, or first thing in the morning, was a quick way to burst a good mood. Take some time to clean up your space – dishes, laundry, closet reorganization – anything you wouldn’t want a house guest seeing. It will improve your mood and your relationship, and free up sorely-needed mental space.
Clean Your Virtual Space
Is checking your email your first, and most dreaded, task every Monday morning? Me too! Go ahead and clear out old emails Sunday so that your inbox isn’t quite so overwhelming first thing in the morning. It makes all the difference.
Prep Your Body
While Sunday may be a day of rest, most of us spend our work week sedentary, under artificial light, staring at computer screens. I try to spend as much of my weekend outside as possible, walking or biking everywhere, especially in summer. When the weather is inhospitable, I’ll get a long workout in at the gym, and do some mindful stretching.
Prep Your Mind
Do something you enjoy that relaxes you. For me, this is reading. I read blogs and online articles during the week, but the weekend is my time for literature and poetry. You might prefer meditation, doing your full 10-step skincare routine, cooking something new, getting together with friends, or playing a video game. No judgement. Enjoy this time to yourself, and unplug from work as much as you can. Be sure to get enough sleep Sunday night, so you can start your week off centered and rested.
Prep Your Stuff
It doesn’t take long for my work bag to get disorganized. And I hate looking for my missing keys right before I dash out the door Monday morning. Prep your work or gym bag Sunday night, so you don’t have to worry about having everything you need in the morning. If you’re feeling inspired, go ahead and lay out your outfit for the next day, too. There’s no limit to what you can achieve! Almost.
I’m not saying you can make Mondays fun. But getting organized for the week ahead can minimize the psychic weight of MONDAY, and help you start your week on the right foot. It’s amazing what a little preparation can do for your mood and productivity! How do you make Monday less scary? What are your favorite Sunday rituals? Let’s talk about it!