As much as I want to be the type of person who coasts into Monday morning clear-headed, meal-prepped, and organized, with an early bird workout under my belt — and on time for work — I’m not. I’m the person waking up late after hitting the snooze button multiple times, groggy from my “just one more episode!” late night Netflix habit, scrambling for breakfast, and gulping coffee in the car.
No bueno. This latter approach is stressful, annoying, and rarely sets anyone up for success at the start of a busy week. That’s why I sourced the six best things to do on Sunday to make your weekdays so much easier.
1. Look at your calendar.
There’s nothing worse than realizing you have five meetings in a row on a given afternoon, or you forgot about meeting your friend for lunch. On Sunday, look at your calendar for the next several days with intention. Are you traveling? Do you need to cancel, add, or adjust anything? What’s missing from your to-do list? Reviewing what’s already on your schedule in the coming week makes you feel more prepared to handle it.
Also, remember to make time for the good stuff: a date night, wine with your bestie, walks with your dog. It is easy to plan, plan, plan for all the things you *have* to do, but you’ll go crazy if you don’t create space for a little fun.
2. Do just a little meal prep.
You don’t have to go all Betty Crocker and spend your last precious weekend day slaving away in the kitchen, I swear. However, you will benefit from doing a little meal prepping on Sunday. And everyone is different: some people like to cook a whole bunch of meals at once and then freeze them, others make a plan based on what’s in the fridge or pantry, and some of us (ahem) simply make it to the grocery store (or order online) for the basics. This not only helps you eat healthy throughout the week, but removes the hassle of having to figure out what to eat at 8 pm after a long day or needing to stop at the store for more milk mid-week.
3. Tidy up.
Notice I didn’t say clean. By all means, if you like cleaning your living space over the weekend, that is a fantastic time to break out the vacuum and mop — but if that feels like too much, especially after a solid Sunday Funday, simply tackle all the clutter in about 15 minutes or so. Clear off the kitchen counter, wipe the bathroom mirror, fold the blankets on the couch, put away your make-up bag, get rid of the receipts spilling out of your purse, et cetera.
Wherever your eye catches a glimpse of messiness, just straighten up for a couple seconds until your place looks semi-presentable. Trust me: nothing’s worse than rolling out of bed Monday morning and immediately seeing the laundry basket of clean clothes that’s been staring you in the face for five days.
4. Make a list for Monday.
Half the time I arrive at the office after a weekend, I don’t even know where to start: E-mails? Google Drive? My planner? Text messages? Making a quick list or plan for Monday morning, when you’re cool, calm, and collected on Sunday, will help you prioritize accordingly and be more efficient to begin your week.
5. Go to bed early.
I repeat. Go. To. Bed. Early. This allows you to wake up fully rested on Monday, which sounds like a small thing, but it is not, my friends. I can’t tell you how many Mondays have been a total waste because I didn’t get enough sleep. I know, you wanna stay up and scroll Instagram forever, but put your phone down, turn off the lights, and catch some z’s. Even better if you have clean sheets!
By hitting the hay earlier than usual, your body, mind and spirit will thank you (and probably your friends, parents and significant others, because listening to someone bitch about how Mondays are the worst is a total downer). If you find it challenging to go to bed early, try giving yourself an extra hour to wind down before bed.
6. Relax (Seriously).
I’ve been guilty of maxin’ and relaxin’ all weekend only to arrive at Sunday night with a serious case of the blues, and I’m probably not alone. To combat this, many people suggest shifting most of your weekend tasks to Saturday, so you can free up Sunday for self-care. Attend an extra-long yoga class, read a book, eat healthy, catch up with a friend, take a hot bath, do a face mask, see a movie — whatever feels semi-indulgent in a way that still allows you to start the week fresh and prepared. (Note: day-long mimosas seem like a good fit, but the Monday hangover is the worst, so choose wisely!)
What’s your go-to Sunday move to make your week easier? Share your best tips in the comments!
This article was originally published on June 11, 2017.