Of all the days of the week, Sunday is by far the most confusing. It’s meant to be a day of rest, but as any parent can tell you, if you don’t plan ahead on Sunday, you’re pretty much screwed for the entire week ahead. Still, your Sunday shouldn’t be sucked up doing chores and activities all day so that you don’t get to enjoy it, either. That’s when you’ll need to find a balance to make Sunday relaxing yet still productive. So check out these 10 things you can do on Sunday so week runs smoothly—and sets you up for success, too.
The thing is knowing how to handle your Sundays so that you get everything done, but still feel like you get some time in for yourself. “The weekend is as much about stepping back as it is about pushing forwards,” says Bryan Collins, a productivity expert and author of This Is Working. “Sunday night is an ideal time for preparing for the weekend ahead though, much like an archer taking aim.” So you’ll need to know how to make your weekend work for you, so that you don’t experience another manic Monday again.
1. Make Your Meal Plan
Between work and school, there isn’t much time to whip up a homemade meal every night of the week. So use Sundays as a way to make your meals ahead of time. “On Sunday, I will prepare freezer meals for the rest of the week to be cooked in my InstaPot,” says Becky Beach, a working mom and blogger. “This saves so much time during the week and the freezer meals can be cooked in 20-30 minutes and feed my whole family.”
2. Work On Your Wardrobe
There’s nothing like staring down your closet of clothes in the morning and feeling like you have nothing to wear. Avoid the indecision by selecting your clothes ahead of time. By placing your outfits out on your bed on Sunday, you can make the selections ahead of time, and then hang them together. That way, you can just grab clothing off the hangers and go.
3. Clear Your Desk
Your home office can look haphazard if you have stuff strewn all over your desk. Take a few minutes on Sunday to straighten everything up so that you can be more productive during the workweek. “It’s important to start with a blank slate,” says Collins. File away any important papers and be sure to clear out your inbox so that you can focus on the week ahead.
4. Make Your Goals
While you don’t need to have your week planned out down to the minute, it’s important to have some specific goals you’d like to accomplish for the week. “Setting priorities in advance takes the dread out of Sunday evenings and it also enables you to start work a little easier,” says Collins. But be sure to prioritize your goals so that you make them manageable—and easier to accomplish.
5. Enjoy The Day
Although it’s important to utilize Sundays to your advantage, you still don’t want to fill the day with so much stuff that you don’t get to relax, either. “To avoid overwhelm, leave half the day vacant,” advises Dr. Frank Buck, author of Get Organized!: Time Management for School Leaders. “Things will come up, and if you’ve booked every minute, your plan is derailed.” So set up a structure for your Sunday so that you get to accomplish items on your list, but still get to experience some leisure time, too.
6. Schedule Family Time
It might seem counterintuitive, but spending time with your loved ones can actually recharge you and make you more productive. “Ensuring you have dedicated time off will help alleviate the anxiety of the to-do list waiting for you in the upcoming week,” says Ben Soreff, a professional organizer. “Finding time to just be in the moment will leave you feeling mentally, physically, and emotionally ready to begin your week ahead.” Giving yourself this time to recharge and reset will allow you to focus better and improve your concentration and ability to accomplish more.
7. Set Yourself Up For Snack Success
If you have kids, you definitely know how important snacks are. Thing is, you don’t always want to toss a bag of chips at your kiddo and call it a day. But prepping fruits and veggies takes a whole lot of time, so use some time on Sunday to make healthy snacks for your kiddos for the week. You might find all the slicing and dicing soothing—and your kids will be eating healthier, too.
8. Clean Up
It starts with straightening up a simple cabinet, and before you know it, you’re knee-deep in a cleaning frenzy that can take up the entire day. And while it’s critical to keep your casa clean, it’s also equally vital that you spend some time doing things other than scrubbing toilets. See if you can get the family on board for a 30-minute cleaning session. Each person can tackle a room or area, and focus only on that area. With so many helping hands, you just might make a dent in that mountain of laundry.
9. Have A Family Calendar Party
In order to make Mondays feel like less of a mess, you should collaborate with your team (i.e. your family) so that everyone is on the same page. “Have a family meeting to discuss the schedule for the week,” says Dr. Melissa Gratias, PhD, a productivity coach and author of Seraphina Does EVERYTHING! “Put activities, driving duties, and anything that the family should know on everyone’s calendar.” By having a quick meeting about the week ahead, there hopefully won’t be any surprises when it comes to scheduling.
10. Start Early
There’s a reason why Sunday night has become so synonymous with that dreaded feeling. Part of it is because many people leave everything on their to do list for Sunday night, which is only going to make you feel stressed out and start the week on the wrong foot. So no matter how little or how much you’d like to accomplish, don’t leave it until the last minute, or you’ll rob yourself of the restorative powers of a Sunday.