Productivity is a pretty general term. Sure, it vaguely means getting stuff done, but in reality there is much more to it.
A lot more.
It’s not about making lists and running errands, it’s about being deliberate with your time and getting the right stuff done.
A lot of people don’t realize this to start. I know I didn’t.
In the past, I would just quickly scribble out a list and start checking things off. No order, no plan, just doing.
Well that’s great, but two things end up happening:
- You waste a lot of time working on tasks that aren’t a priority
- You end up running out of time for the important stuff
Instead, to be truly productive you need to be intentional about how you spend your time.
And when does that start?
Or Monday… Or really whatever day marks the day before you go back to work – whatever “work” means to you.
If your work week starts on Monday, that means you need to make time for intentionality on Sunday.
If that day is Wednesday, than you need to make time on Tuesday.
With that in mind, here are some things that you should do on Sunday that will set you up to have a productive upcoming week.
1. Make time to learn
There are a lot of amazing resources out there – audiobooks, documentaries, bootcamps, you name it.
The learning opportunities are nearly endless. Take advantage of that!
Find something that interests you and dive into it. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you find it interesting.
As you continue to explore, so will your excitement for learning. In turn, you’ll discover new ways to challenge yourself and grow.
Use that excitement as fuel to launch yourself enthusiastically into the upcoming week!
2. Practice what you learn
We consume so much information each day. Be it podcasts or books, conversations or articles, information is constantly flowing towards us.
It’s one thing to listen to that knowledge, but it’s another thing entirely to apply it.
Like in Number 1 above, make time for yourself to learn. But just as important, make time to utilize that information.
Try experimenting with new techniques, tactics, and strategies. Actually apply the lessons that you’ve been learning about all this time.
Sunday’s are a great day for reflection. With the week now behind you and the next week fast approaching, consider:
- What things went well this week?
- How can I set myself up for more great opportunities like that in the future?
- What things went poorly this week?
- What can I learn from this and do differently next time?
- How are my goals coming along?
Use these questions as inspiration to plan out an even better upcoming week than the one you had prior.
4. Plan out your week
A great way to set yourself up for a productive week is to plan it out.
Map out your days, events, priorities, and to-dos. Leave room for flexibility, but have a general idea of what you will do for the next week.
You can use a bullet journal or a note on your phone. It doesn’t matter.
What does matter is that you are intentional with your time. By spending the effort upfront, you will be able to sail through the week with confidence.
Things will come up and you will get derailed occasionally, but by having a plan of attack for your time you will be putting yourself in a great position moving forward.
5. Figure out your meals
Instead of rushing to throw together a dinner with whatever you can find, try planning out your meals on Sunday.
Doing so will give you something to look forward to throughout the week, plus you’ll know exactly what to get at the grocery store which will save even more time!
If that feels too rigid, try planning out a general idea of what meals you would like to have.
You don’t necessarily have to make them in that order, but that way you have the ingredients ready to go whenever you are.
6. Clean house
I don’t work well in messy environments. Others might, I don’t.
So when it comes to preparing for the week, I always make sure to have a nice clean working area ready to go.
If an orderly environment is something that allows you to better focus, make it a Sunday priority.
By organizing your workspace ahead of time, you will set yourself up to have a more focused week. And, more importantly, you won’t be scrambling to get organized during the chaos of Monday.
7. Get your clothes ready
This one doesn’t have to just be a Sunday thing. It can really be an every night kind of thing.
Planning out your clothes the night before will save you a tremendous amount of time in the long run.
Instead of scrambling to throw something together in the morning, you’ll deliberately plan out a great outfit the night before.
Check the weather, check your schedule, and check yourself out as you put together a great wardrobe for the next day.
Plus, planning your clothes out the night before will help reduce decision fatigue the next day.
8. Think of Sunday as the start of the week
Monday’s are chaotic. There are a lot of things going on and tasks being juggled. It’s a dreadful way to start the week.
So instead of considering Monday the start, try reframing it in your mind so that Sunday is actually when your week begins.
And then, with your week now starting on a Sunday, see it as a day for calm, restoration, and preparation for the rest of your week.
With a little reframing you can go into Monday with more focus, more calm, more motivation, and a more solid strategy for tackling the upcoming days.
9. Catch up with loved ones
With everything going on during the week, it’s easy to let loved ones fall into the background.
Take time on Sunday to reach out to those connections and catch up.
Schedule a lunch date, jump on a call, join a video chat. Reconnect with those you love and go into the week refreshed and feeling cared for.
Personally, each month I schedule at least one meal or new experience with every member of my immediate family.
That way, at the end of the month, I’ll have spent quality one-on-one time with each member of my family at least once. Normally we end up getting together even more, but at least that forces us to have something scheduled in case the month gets too hectic.
IMPORTANT: The key to making this work is that you need to know how to manage and schedule out your time.
10. Make time for yourself
Taking care of yourself needs to be at the top of your priority list.
There’s no better way to head off into the week than by giving yourself some much needed care and attention – whatever that means to you.
It could be spending some time to rest, or reading a book, or watching a movie, or eating something delicious, or doing some light cardio.
It’s listening to your mind and body and giving it the attention it needs.
By making time to re-charge, you’ll be energized, focused, and ready to push through whatever future challenges come your way.
Give a few of the items above a try on your next Sunday.
As you go through your week, notice how your productivity and time management vastly improve.
And when in doubt remember, a week that you’ve taken the time to plan and get ready for is already a more productive week.