A Productive Week Starts With a Great Sunday

We've all heard of having a "case of the Mondays," but that Monday dread often hits us on Sunday night. Even if you love what you do, you can have a sense of impending dread at the thought of going back to the "real world" after a carefree weekend. This is especially true at year's end, when we have to fit in holiday shopping, parties, family time, children's holiday activities and more.

However, Monday morning comes whether we like it or not, and it's important to set up the week for success. And a great week really starts with a great Sunday.

Find an Hour to Organize Yourself

Chaos seems to find us during the holiday season, but the best defense against chaos is organization. Steal an hour on Sunday to sit down and plan your week. You'd probably rather be watching football or vegging out on a Netflix binge, but that one hour can make a big difference.

Check your calendar and make a list of the most important things you need to do. Write them out and block out time to get them done on appropriate days. It helps to post your list on your fridge or on your wall at work, or even to carry it with you so you don't lose track of what you wanted to accomplish.

Eat Your Frogs

We often put off annoying household chores until after dinner on Sunday which only fuels a feeling of chaos and dread. Instead, flip your day on its ear. Get your laundry, cleaning, meal prep for the week, etc., done earlier in the day so you have the rest of Sunday to relax and squeeze in a little more family and "me time."

Plan Your Outfits

Staring blankly into your closet in the morning can quickly put you behind schedule. Take time on Sunday to check the weather forecast and plan your outfits for the week. If you have kids, planning their outfits can save you a boatload of time, as well. This simple act can reduce stress significantly and will get everyone moving more quickly in the morning.

Eat Healthy Food

Lots of people pig out on Sundays. There are brunches to attend, Sunday family dinners to eat, football snacks to consume, and this time of year you may also have parties or holiday gatherings with friends. However, eating a lot of heavy food on Sunday can make you feel lethargic on Monday. Avoid alcohol if possible, and do your best to consume healthy and balanced meals.

Also make it a priority to drink lots of water on Sunday. If you wake up dehydrated, it is difficult to focus and find the energy you need to power through a Monday morning.

Prepare Monday Morning Breakfast

A good breakfast can set the tone for a good Monday and a great week. Sunday night, prepare something for breakfast in the morning. You can prep ingredients for microwave muffins, microwave egg scrambles and more. There are also overnight oats and other healthy breakfast treats you can prepare on Sunday to save time and ensure you have a nutritious Monday morning.

Make Use of Your Slow Cooker

After a stressful Monday back to work, who feels like cooking? Prepare ingredients for a crockpot dinner and keep them in the fridge Sunday night. In the morning, pop them into your slow cooker and dinner will be ready when you arrive. Or, you can make your Sunday dinner in the crockpot and have the leftovers on Monday.

Set an Alarm to Power Down

After two nights of staying up later than usual, it's easy to forget to wind down early on Sunday. Set a timer to remind yourself of the hour when it's time to put away your devices and get into bedtime mode. There is actually a feature on iPhones now called "bedtime," which will automatically remind you to prepare for bed, and it can help you get into a good rhythm.

Finally, Don't Overcommit

It can be very easy to overcommit this time of year. One of the best things you can do to manage stress is to learn to say "no." Yes, someone needs to head up the holiday bake sale and you've known about your second cousin's holiday open house for a few weeks, but it is ok to turn down invitations and not overextend yourself. It's all about prioritizing and knowing your personal limitations. By keeping Sundays as a designated day to both relax and prepare yourself for Monday through Friday, you can set the tone for a productive week.