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We all want to have a great week where we get our work done, keep our house clean, take care of our families, and have time for some fun too. My great week begins on Sunday night with these five habits that start me off on the right foot.
- Meal Prep and Plan
- Organize my outfits
- Check my calendar
- Brain dump To-Do List
- Go to bed early
I bet that if you counted all of the decisions you make in a day, you would be shocked at how many things your brain has to figure out in a single day. From small decisions like what to eat for lunch to big decisions like the work project you’ve been developing for six months, our brains do a lot for us. Have you ever heard of decision fatigue? It’s where the more decisions you brain has to make, the more tired your brain becomes. When your brain gets tired, it doesn’t do as good a job making those decisions.
What if you spent your morning making decision after decision (What should I wear? What should I have for breakfast? What’s on my calendar for today?) and then by the time you get to work, your brain is already in decision fatigue? Not good!
Automate your decisions to make your week easier.
I try to make some decisions all at once, so that I don’t have to make them over and over throughout the week. You will see in my Sunday night habits that I make some decisions one time on Sunday night so that when my week gets busy, I’ve already done some of the work.
Let me show you what I do on Sunday night to have a great week.
Sunday Habit To Have A Great Week #1: Meal Prep and Plan
Sometimes Monday morning feels like the starting line of a marathon race. Once I’m up and moving, it feels like a mad dash to get everything done, and there isn’t much time for cooking meals.
Enter meal planning and prepping. This simple task definitely helps me have a great week.
What is meal planning?
First, I sit down with a pen and paper, a few cookbooks, and my Pinterest app open on my phone. Next, I plan out a week’s worth of meals. There are a million articles on the internet about how to meal plan.
Here’s how I keep meal planning simple
Planning meals for the whole week might feel overwhelming at first if you’ve never done it before. Instead of jumping in and planning seven breakfasts, lunches, and dinners (and one million snacks), start with planning two or three dinners, and then work your way up to the whole week.
I keep it simple by limiting which recipes I pick for the week. I only plan with recipes I have tried before and could basically cook blindfolded (not really, don’t recommend!). If I picked a bunch of recipes that are new to me and that I would have to really concentrate to get right, it would just be too much work for a busy week. Want some help getting your grocery spending under control? Check out our post about cutting your grocery bill in half.
What is meal prepping?
In a busy week, there are lots of obstacles standing in my way when it comes to cooking. Sometimes, I only have a few minutes to put together ingredients for a meal. When I meal prep, I look at my meal plan and ask myself what I can prepare now to make cooking go quickly later on.
I chop any veggies that are needed for recipes and store them in the refrigerator ready to go when I need them. I put together some quick turkey and cheese sandwiches for grab-and-go lunches during the week. When I have time, I like to bake muffins or some other breakfast bread. Having a quick and handheld breakfast for people heading out the door is so helpful.
Sunday Habit To Have A Great Week #2: Organize My Outfits for The Week
This habit might sound a little over the top. I know what you’re thinking, “You really plan your clothes for the whole week?!” I really do, and it’s awesome! Every morning, I get dressed without having to make any decisions before my coffee has kicked in. Here’s how I do it.
On Sunday evening, I grab seven empty clothing hangers – one hanger for each day of the week. On each hanger, I put together a complete outfit – shirt, pants, socks, shoes, even jewelry.
Then, I hang them all in my closet ready to go.
I like to eliminate weekday morning decision making. I’m too busy to stand in front of my closet wondering what to wear. Inevitably, when I’m stressed and rushed, I usually fall victim of that “I have nothing to wear” syndrom. Planning ahead helps me realize that I have plenty of clothes that I love to wear. When I’m wear clothes that I love and feel good in, it helps me have a great week.
Sunday Habit To Have A Great Week #3: Check My Calendar
I’m really good at writing an appointment on my calendar and then never reading my calendar again! After many forgotten lunch dates, volunteering shifts, and PTO meetings, I decided something had to give.
Something that helps me have a great week and takes only a few minutes is checking my calendar on Sunday evening.
Whether you use a calendar app on your smartphone or love a good old pen and paper planner, take a few minutes on Sunday night to pause and look at what is coming up this week. Reading over what events you have planned will help you wrap your head around what needs to get done.
Sunday Habit To Have A Great Week #4: Brain Dump
So many times, the neverending to-do list can feel too overwhelming. It can feel like tasks just keep piling up and up, and you don’t know how you’re going to get it all done. When I feel like I’m trying to remember too many tasks on my to-do list, I do a brain dump.
What is a brain dump?
A brain dump is a master list of everything on your to-do list. Get a pen and paper (I feel like writing this is more beneficial than typing.) and write down anything and everything you can think of that needs to be done this week. Don’t hold back. There is no task too big or too small. Seeing everything on paper makes me feel like I am on track to get things done. I feel like I’m in control of things and not going to forget an important to-do list task.
Next, review your list. Then, mark tasks as things that need to be taken care of immediately, things that can be done later, and things that can be postponed for when you have more time.
Seeing everything that has been weighing on my brain in one list helps me put my to-do list in perspective. It helps me realize that some of the things I was stressed out about getting done can wait until later or do need to be done at all.
How To Prioritize Your To-Do List
If you’re having trouble prioritizing what tasks on your list to do when, use this helpful trick.
Think of every task on your list as a ball. Some of the balls are made of glass (and will break if they hit the floor) and some are made of rubber (and will bounce if dropped). Look at each task and ask yourself, if I drop this task from my to-do list today, will it bounce or will it break?
The glass balls of your to-do list (the balls that will break) are tasks that must be done today with no exceptions. Taking the full trash bag out to the can, fixing a plumbing issue, and turning in important paperwork that is due today are all examples of tasks that if you dropped them from your schedule would break like glass.
The rubber balls on your to-do list (the balls that will bounce) are tasks that need to be done eventually, but if you don’t get to them today, they could just as easily be done tomorrow. They “bounce” and don’t “break”. Labeling what needs to be done today and what can wait until tomorrow really helps when I’m having a very busy day.
Sunday Habit To Have A Great Week #5: Go To Bed Early
Yes, I agree – Netflix is actively working to keep us all awake way past our bedtimes! I’m always ready for just one more episode of whatever TV show I’m currently binge-watching. Also, if you have young kids, sometimes it feels like the only time you get for yourself is late at night when the kids go to bed.
I say stay up as late as you want to and watch all of the Stranger Things any other night of the week. Just try your best to get to bed early on Sunday night. Here’s why.
Monday morning has countless songs written about it, and most of them aren’t happy. There’s a reason for that. Monday morning usually hits my house like a hurricane that’s just made landfall. The kids are grumpy and don’t want to get ready for school. The weight of the week starts to set in. It feels like it’s time to batten down the hatches and get to work. And if something is going to break at my house, it always chooses Monday morning to do it.
Starting my day with a full night’s sleep in my tank helps me have a great week.
Building small habits one by one can get big results in the long run. If adding all of these habits seems like too much right now, try adding one this week. Once you feel comfortable and in a good rhythm, add another. Before long, your Sunday night routine will get you off on the right foot to have a great week! Ready to build more healthy habits? Read 12 habits of people who always have a clean home.