7 THINGS TO DO ON SUNDAY FOR A PRODUCTIVE WEEK AHEAD (+ FREE PRINTABLE)
Our days and weeks can be busy. I find it’s helpful to plan and prepare as much as I can to make life as easy and stress-free as possible. Here are 7 things to do on Sunday for a productive week ahead. There’s also a free Sunday Planning Printable you can get to help you use your Sunday’s to organise and plan the coming week.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT SUNDAYS?
Many of us have mixed emotions about Sundays. We often spend the day resting and relaxing, maybe with family and loved ones. Yet, it can be tinged with anxiety and gloom over the thought of Monday looming and being back to our busy daily routine and schedule.
In this article I’m sharing 7 things to do on Sunday for a productive week ahead. I’d like to encourage you to use your Sunday in a constructive way to recharge your batteries but also help make the coming week feel easier!
If you’ve got the ‘Sunday Scaries’ and would rather hide in bed than face Monday head-on, let’s see if we can find a way to change that!
USING SUNDAY TO HELP YOU PLAN FOR THE WEEK
Sunday can be a great time to take stock of where you are, plan and prepare for the week, whilst still find time for yourself and whatever you’d like to do. Yet, it’s easy for Sunday to slip by if you don’t have a gentle, flexible but structured plan for what you’d like to do with it.
I’m not talking about following a strict timetable. The following tips are just a few suggestions that you could include into the flow of your day to become part of your Sunday routine. Being productive and feeling like you’ve achieved what you set out to AND make the coming week a little easier in the process, will help stave off any difficult feelings about Monday morning.
7 THINGS TO DO ON SUNDAY FOR A PRODUCTIVE WEEK AHEAD
Here are 7 things to do on Sunday for a productive week ahead. Little tips to help you plan, prepare and create a little more ease and, hopefully, much less stress for your coming week.
1. Check your calendar for the week
Check your calendar to see what’s happening during the coming week. You need to include everything that’s in both your personal and work diaries (and your partner’s) if they’re relevant.
Make sure that you know about everything that’s coming up so you don’t have any surprises!
This might include any of the following:
- Birthdays (so you can get presents or cards in advance rather than having to go to the shops especially)
- Doctor, dentist and any other appointments
- After school clubs or activities for your kids
- Work commitments or evening classes
2. Make a To Do list
We’ve all got things that we need to do during the week – errands to run, phone calls to make, people to see. Even if we’ve simplified our lives and our time as much as we can, life still dictates that somewhere, sometime, we need to do things.
Now that you’ve checked your calendar (see point 1), take a moment to jot down all the things you need to do that week. It doesn’t matter where, but just get the thoughts out of your head and on to a piece of paper. You could use the Notes on your phone, Trello (a great little app, check it out here at www.trello.com), even plain old pen and paper. Whatever works for you, easiest for you to update and you’re not likely to forget or lose.
If you find yourself writing To Do lists but never look at them, let alone be able to tick everything off, here are some simple tips to help you write a better, more strategic To Do list:
- Grab a notebook and pen and brain dump everything that’s in your mind that you’re trying to remember or need to do.
- Go through your brain dump notes to put things into list format. Every errand, task or thought needs a separate line.
- Circle or highlight the important things. Out of these items, pick 3-5 most important tasks for today.
- Write a To Do list with just these 3-5 items. Put the Most Important Task (the MIT) at the top (aim to get this done first).
- Make a separate list of things to do tomorrow, or a list of things you need to remember. Your To Do list is not a ‘remembering list’!
- You can use your brain dump notes to create a list for each day of the week so you can get through all the tasks by the end of the week.
Further reading: How to write a To Do list to get stuff done
3. Meal plan and meal prep
Looking at your schedule (above) will help you work out what meals you need to plan for, how long you’ve got to prepare and cook the meals and who’s going to be around to eat them. Think about what snacks you might need. If they’re easy to grab or planned in advance, you’re more likely to have a healthy option available instead of reaching for that quick and easy chocolate bar, again! Also remember to plan for packed lunches for your kids and anyone else who needs them during the week.
Meal planning and meal prepping will make it much easier and quicker to know what’s for dinner each night. Refer to your shopping list that you’ve updated during the week and order online for the food to be delivered to your door to save time and stress!
Further reading: If you need more help with meal planning and meal prep, you might enjoy this article on how to simplify meal planning.
4. Do some housework
This may not be the most appealing way to spend Sunday but I find it makes a huge difference to the rest of my week. I don’t have much spare time during the working week. Moreover, in the spare time I do get, I’d rather be doing a squillion other things than housework! So, making sure my home is clean (enough) and tidy (enough) to take us into the beginning of the week is really helpful. That’s not to say that my home won’t need a quick reset or vacuum during the week, but I do try to get the more time-consuming tasks done at the weekend.
Some of the chores we try and get done on a Sunday include:
- Washing the kitchen floor
- Changing all the bedlinen and towels
- Getting through all the laundry (and putting it all away)
- Mowing the grass (my husband’s job!)
- Hoovering and dusting
Although this is my wish list of tasks to get done, there are a few little points to note:
- It’s flexible: If we’ve planned something for Sunday and I know I’m not going to get my list done, then I try to do it on Saturday instead.
- I don’t do all this by myself: My family lives in (and makes a mess in!) the home so I believe in getting everyone to do their bit to keep it clean and tidy. Try this article on kids and chores for some ideas!
- I don’t always get it all done: I like to have a list that I can work my way through because it helps me stay focused and know what I need to achieve. However, I’m definitely not a slave to that list so if something else comes up that I want or need to do and it’s more pressing, then I do that. The housework can wait!
Further reading: How to spend less time cleaning
5. Make sure everything is ready for school
If you have kids you’ll be familiar with last-minute trips to the shops to buy ingredients for food tech, or emergency laundry when you realise you need the sports kit for tomorrow but it’s still in the dirty clothes pile.
Knowing what’s ahead for the school week, who’s doing what and, importantly, what they’ll need, saves a whole load of hassle! This includes making sure that all the homework is done, school bags are packed, lunches are prepped, permission slips are signed and you’ve read all the letters and emails sent through from the school. You’ll be ready for Monday morning and hopefully it will set a positive tone for the rest of your week!
6. Spend some family time together
The rest of the week may be busy and sometimes things happen that we hadn’t planned on (good things as well as bad). This means that we’re not always able to be in the same place at the same time and quality family time just isn’t possible.
Make a point to spend some time together on a Sunday, even if it’s just over the Sunday roast or going out for a walk or a play in the park. Then you know that even if the rest of the week is busy, you’ve still been able to get some family time in on the Sunday.
I’m a firm believer in the benefits of self-care for busy people and I strongly believe that we need to look after ourselves so we can carry on looking after others and do everything that we need to do.
Dedicate a bit of time on Sunday to doing something for you. Make use of any extra time you might have by doing things you don’t have so much time for during the week.
- Get some exercise
- Take a long bath instead of a quick shower
- Write in your journal – try these 30 journal prompts to start the week with intention and clarity (+ free printable)
- Do your nails
- Read your book
- Get an early night so you wake up bright on Monday morning
Or, maybe go out with the kids for a long walk. The kids can go on the bikes, scooters or kick a football around. It may not be your ideal way of getting a bit of ‘looking after you’ time (think of a weekend spa break!) but you’ll get some exercise in the fresh air, your kids will wear themselves out and you can enjoy a change of scene from the four walls of your home (or office).
Further reading: The Ultimate Self-Care Toolkit with practical self-care tips to fit around your life.
OTHER TIPS FOR YOUR SUNDAY ROUTINE
I wanted to share a few ideas and other tips for your Sunday routine. They could help you be more prepared physically and mentally for the week ahead AND help you make the most of your Sunday!
Here are some other tips for your Sunday routine:
1. Wake up at your normal time
As tempting as it might be to have a lie-in, it disrupts your normal sleep patterns. Waking up late on Sunday morning might mean you can’t fall asleep until later on Sunday night. This leads to problems waking up on Monday morning and you’ll feel groggy or be playing catch-up before the week even begins.
2. Make some time for you
We talked about self-care earlier, but try to create a little time for you to do what you want. It doesn’t have to be a long bath, it could be gardening or catching up with a friend on the phone. Have some time to do what you WANT to do, not just what you NEED to do!
3. Do something different to normal
For many of us, our weekdays follow a usual pattern and one day can feel like the next. Use your weekend to do something different. Plan a day out with the family, go out for lunch, bake with the kids. Do something you can’t do during the week.
4. Clear your inbox and declutter your emails
Close down the end of one week and start the new one with a freshly decluttered inbox. Delete emails you don’t need, save the ones you need to keep in clearly labelled folders, flag the emails you need to action and archive or delete the rest. I like to do this on Sunday because I then know what’s waiting for my attention on Monday morning. Here are some ideas for how to get rid of digital clutter.
5. Choose your clothes
Picking your clothes for the coming week saves a lot of time and stress. Grab a few hangers and use each of these to hang your clothes for every separate day. If you can, hang your underwear on it too! It saves a lot of time rooting through your wardrobe to find everything. Alternatively, declutter your clothes and you’ll find this a lot easier in the first place, especially if you have a kind of personal daily uniform or style that you like to wear regularly! If you have kids, do the same for them with school uniform and their underwear.
6. Hold a family meeting
Get the family together and put aside a few minutes to discuss the week ahead. What’s going on, how does everyone feel about it, what needs to happen. A regular family meeting doesn’t need to last long but it’s a great way to get the whole family included on what’s happening, any issues or problems and, of course, chat, laugh and spend time together!
7. Do your one Most Important Thing
Your Most Important Thing (MIT) is the one item on your To Do list that’s weighing on your mind, time and/or heart. It’s the task that you absolutely must get done but maybe you’ve been putting off because it feels too ugly and overwhelming! Once you’ve done it, you’ll probably breathe a sigh of relief and feel the pressure lift. This Most Important Thing isn’t necessarily the most urgent thing. There’s a distinction between things that are important and urgent, but it IS the one thing that’s been hanging over you and you absolutely must get done.
If you have a MIT on your To Do list, make it a priority. Get it done on Sunday (send off your taxes, arrange new car insurance etc) or commit to doing it as soon as possible during the week so you can feel productive and lighter!
CREATE YOUR OWN SUNDAY ROUTINE
I hope you found these ideas helpful to create your own Sunday routine. They were just some suggestions based on what I’ve found to be most useful. Of course, you may find other ideas that suit you better depending on your schedule and season of life. Swap them if you like!
If it seems too much to try them all in one go, try just one or two ideas this Sunday and see how it feels. You can always add in another for the next Sunday until you’ve found a routine that works best for you. The aim is not to jam-pack your Sunday with things to do but rather weave them gently into the flow of your day or weekend.
RESOURCES TO HELP YOU SIMPLIFY AND ORGANISE YOUR HOME AND LIFE
Here are some resources and articles which you may find helpful in planning the week (or weeks!) ahead:
- 6 self-care habits for your daily routine – Self-care doesn’t have to be difficult, expensive or time-consuming. For practical ways to look after your body and mind every day, check out this post for 6 self-care habits for your daily routine.
- Monthly checklist to simplify your life – Whether it’s looking at your calendar, decluttering your home or working on your own goals and personal development, the start of the month is a great time to assess where you’re at. Check out this post for a monthly checklist to simplify your life. Get organised and plan your tasks and goals for the coming month.
- 15 ways to be more productive – Do your days run away with you? Are you always busy but your To Do list never gets any smaller? Want some time for yourself? Here are some tips on how to be more productive and effective at home and in life so you can get more done in less time.
- 10 Productive Things to Do in An Hour at Home to Help You Stress Less – Struggling to find time for everything that you have to do and needing some quick ways to be more productive and get things done? Here are 10 productive things to do in an hour at home to help you stress less and make life easier!
- 10 Productive Things to Do on Your Phone Instead of Scrolling Social Media – These days we rely on our phones for so much. To take photos, connect us with friends, inform us about the world and to play games on plus so much more. Instead of wasting time, here are 10 productive things to do on your phone instead of social media.
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I’m Antonia and on this blog I share practical inspiration to simplify your home, time and life. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest! You can also subscribe to Balance Through Simplicity and receive regular simplicity tips straight to your inbox for free. Make sure you never miss an article plus you’ll get a copy of my free Declutter Starter Kit as a welcome gift!