Mondays are hard. Amen. However, there is a way to own Monday and show Monday who is the boss – it is by taking the time on Sunday to prepare for the week ahead!
I have been dreading Mondays for awhile until I heard about routine activities that one can do on Sundays to ensure the week ahead is more productive and starts easy.
Below are my favourite things to do to prepare for the week:
- Get your clothing ready
- select what you would like to wear to work, spend some time to create an outfit or plan accessories/makeup/shoes that would match
- iron clothing that requires ironing
- polish your shoes or spray them with refreshing scent (summer shoes really need this!)
- Get your home ready
- ideally, clean up your whole place. But let’s get real – it is really hard to get to it, especially in the summer when you can spend your evening in a patio instead. Just think about key areas you need clean to get up, get ready and grab some food before you go to work
- Clean up your kitchen. Nothing makes me happier in the morning then entering my kitchen and seeing it being clean, with no dirty cups/plates in the sink, seeing washed & ready to use french press and a frying pan on the stove. When I see breakfast items (e.g. bread, Belgian waffles) close to a toaster, it also makes my life easy. Do more today to do less tomorrow!
- Prep your coffee. Make sure you have coffee & cup close to the coffee machine, pour water…minimise the steps you need to take in the morning
- Have a plan for your breakfast. The thought that helps me get up faster is knowing that a yummy breakfast is waiting for me.
- Pack your lunch. If you spend 10 minutes in the evening, cutting & packing food or snacks for your future self, you will save money & not be hungry. Seeing Starbucks lunch boxes with few items and their prices makes me really upset. Think about it – how few grapes, one tiny piece of cheese and some carrots/cookies cost $7? Plus it is always nice to have the lunch box close in case you get hungry because of small breakfast (I have breakfast at 6:30am and by 10am I am starving).
- Get your stuff ready
- Minimise the number of tasks you need to do in the morning. I keep saying this because I find it to be the best guiding principle and honestly, so important to ensure my weekday go as planned. Charge all devices, clean up your bedside table, clean after your pets. Whatever you can avoid doing in the morning, do a night before. Your future self will thank you.
- prep your purse. Maybe this applies only to me – but I love purses and I use like 5 different purses a week. I often find myself in situation where my work pass is in one purse, wallet in another, credit card in the third and transit pass in the 4th. If you are like me, packing your purse in the evening is a life saver!
- ensure you can get to work. Maybe you need to add money on your transit pass (or find a transit pass, like me), fill the car with gas or ensure your driving will not be delayed by construction by checking the path you want to take ahead of time. In Toronto we have daily delays on both transit system and also construction on almost any road. It may be worth to leave early or find alternative route if you have an important meeting in the morning.
- Get your mind ready
- I know, I know, nothing can be done to delay Monday. But you know what can be fixed? Our attitudes. I noticed that when I spend time to find new music for my Ipod, ensure my e-book has a number of interesting books, getting new productivity apps for my phone helps me to have more enjoyable commute & break time.
- Check your schedule before going to bed. I often forget about morning meetings and knowing about them a night before helps me avoid surprises at work and ensure I have sufficient time to grab a coffee before entering my office. If I have a long meeting I ensure I have something to drink with me or even snacks. I also never come to meetings without having a sense of what the meeting will be about. If the purpose of the meeting is unclear I follow up with meeting organiser by email to ensure there are no surprises and that I have the relevant information/data when I walk into the meeting.
- Write a list. I love writing lists on paper. I always have at least 3 notebooks where I write anything and everything I need & plan to do and achieve. Thinking about the week that lies ahead, capturing key events, appointments, things to achieve at work, things to do in the weekend, household things to do during the week and some fun/relaxing things for myself to do during the week really helps have the right mindset for the week!
- Meditate, reflect in your journal or read a book. Get your mind organised and relaxed – you will feel better when going to sleep!