It’s no secret that Mondays can be stressful. The term “Sunday scaries” even describes the uncomfortable feeling prior to the start of a new week. I, for one, have struggled for a long time with this. I’ve spent many Sundays overthinking the tasks and responsibilities I have waiting for me on Monday, often putting a damper on wonderful weekends spent with friends and family.
Luckily, there are ways to prevent the Sunday scaries before they even hit, and there are even ways to prevent Monday morning from feeling like a frantic scramble to the finish line. The trick? It’s all in how you spend Friday afternoon. So get ready to sit back and fully enjoy a well-deserved glass of rose on Friday evening—because we’re diving into the five things successful women (and now you!) do on Fridays so that Monday isn’t a nightmare.
1. Prep Your Monday, Before Monday
Successful women know that remaining a step ahead in work and going the extra mile is what will set them apart, but as the week comes to a close, it’s normal to have tasks that spill over and become a “next week” item.
Before you log off on Friday, take the time to organize your Monday (and the rest of the week for that matter). Review your email, messages, calendar, any big meetings from the week, and your overall to-do list every Friday before you leave the office. From there, map out the following week and bake in time for meeting preparation, follow-ups you need to handle, reminders you have in your calendar, things you have to do, and things you want to do. When doing this, make sure to add in things like walks to coffee mid-week when you know your mind will need a mental break.
When I do this, I like to take it a step further and connect with my internal teammates about items for the following week so that we are already aligned on what needs to be done—saving us time and energy on Monday so that we can jump right in. This way, I leave for the weekend already confident that I have the following week managed and under control.
2. Get Meeting Preparation Handled
If I know I’m walking into a Monday with calls of any kind, I like to take extra time on Friday to prepare these in advance. I ensure agendas are ready, notes have been made, and I know exactly what needs to be done Monday morning in order to fully prepare.
Knowing what I’m walking into on Monday helps meetings go smoother and helps me rest easy Sunday night knowing that Monday morning isn’t going to be a fire drill. Win-win!
3. Clean Your Physical Space
Before you jet out to catch up with friends on Fridays, ensure your desk or workspace is tidy. Walking into a neat and calm space on Monday morning will help ease your mind. Pro tip: Set out a nice candle, cute notebook, and your favorite coffee mug for Monday morning.
4. Clean your Digital Space
Maybe more important than your physical workspace is your digital one.
Before I log off on Fridays, I do my best to organize my email inbox, desktop, downloads, and other folders that may have started adding up during the week. I file items appropriately and get rid of what I don’t need.
For email, I use folders and labels to ensure my inbox is as organized as possible for when I walk in on Monday, so that when I’m trying to rack my brain about where things left off, it’s already right there, organized in front of me.
5. Reflect On Your Week
At the end of the day, all of this preparation will only truly pay off if you take what happened during your current week and apply it to what is next. Take a walk for 5-10 minutes on Friday afternoon and think about what worked, what didn’t work, where you want to shift focus the following week, and what additional skills you want to learn. Add key goals you set for yourself or areas you’d like to improve into your weekly plan and add things to remember to sticky notes in your workspace so that when you come in Monday, there is no question about what you’re going to do.