Successful people never truly turn off. Seven days a week, they are switched on, minds whirring and planning ahead. But Sunday evening, prime slump time, is the most commonly wasted few hours of the week. And chances are, since lockdown began, you’ve been using this time less productively than ever.
So what should you be doing to prepare for the working week to come – now and after lockdown ends? Here’s how successful people spend their Sunday evenings…
1. Clean out your bag and wallet
Begin by grabbing your work bag and emptying it. Sort the important papers, letters and documents from the rubbish, and organise them into a logical order before repacking. The same goes for your wallet. Receipts and cards you’ve collected from the week before should be removed and collated – slimming down your wallet for the days to come.
2. Purge your emails and clean your home desk
You’ve cleaned out your physical bag or briefcase – now turn to your inbox. Sunday night is the perfect time to purge your inbox of those emails that you know are spam. Don’t rifle through the whole virtual stack, but take a few minutes to skim the real rubbish off the top. Flag those that business emails look particularly important and leave other reputable correspondence unopened until you’re back in the work zone tomorrow morning.
3. Sort out your diary and write a to-do list
Take a moment to flick through your diary and check what meetings or engagements you have coming up this week. This will help mentally prepare you for the breaks in routine and keep you on an even keel for the days to come. Also jot down a rough to-do list. Don’t go into too much depth, and make sure to sum up your aims in simple concise points, but get down everything you need to complete and achieve in the week to come.
4. Write down your problems - and figure out how to solve them
This list will probably include at least one problem that has arisen that needs solving – so don’t just flag your problem up. Write out some sensible and potential solutions to your issues, including time frames of how long these will take to implement and who you will have to set up meetings with to make them work.
5. Throw out all expired food and stock up for the week
Fuelling yourself with good, healthy food is a must for the week ahead. So begin by going through your fridge and cupboards and checking what food will expire in the next seven days if you do not eat it. Then, plan your lunches accordingly – using bread, salad and meat that is approaching expiry to save on waste. Then, figure out what you need for three square meals a day and go shopping. Stock up, and meal plan – remembering to look at your schedule and make allowances for mornings you have to be out early, or nights when you’ll be back late.
6. Sort out your week's work wardrobe
The same goes for outfits. Your work wardrobe should be thoroughly laundered, neatly ironed and ready to wear by the time you hit the hay on Sunday night. You don’t want to spend weekday mornings pressing trousers or hopping around in search of spare socks. Instead, make sure you know what you’re going to wear each day – taking into account the weather forecast, and potential activities that may arise in your schedule.
7. Sneak in a work out
Sneak in a couple of reps on Sunday night. Nothing too strenuous – this is your time off, after all – but by getting a jump on your week’s workout, you will sleep better, feel fresher and – literally – be stronger for the week to come.
8. Take some time out for yourself
Meditation may be one step too far, but remember to relax on Sunday. Pour too much time into the above suggestions, and Sunday will feel so close to Monday that it’ll be as if your working week has come one day early. Instead, throw on a film, grab some snacks and zone out. This will help your memory regroup, your immune system recuperate and your batteries recharge – all before you join the rat race again tomorrow.
9. Prepare breakfast for Monday morning
Before bed, prepare a hearty and wholesome breakfast for Monday morning. Be that cereal, a smoothie or toast with boiled eggs, get those coffee beans ready to grind, those oranges ready to freshly squeeze and that bread ready to toast – and your most important meal of the day will also become the simplest.
10. Get an early night
You may want to cling onto the last vestiges of freedom before the working week rolls around once more, but remember that you need to let go and go to sleep. Grab an early night and add another hour or two to those 40 winks, and you’ll feel considerably better on Monday morning. Who knows, maybe you’ll even wake up before your alarm – the way all successful people start their day.
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