Sunday, the day we’re supposed to rest, bond with family, worship, and de-stress, has slowly become anything but in our family.
So much so that we dread the day even more than Monday.
Instead of a time of restfulness and fun, Sunday becomes this do-it-all day in which we need to go to church, clean the house, mow the lawn, meal prep for the whole week, and whatever else we didn’t get done during the week. Worst case scenario is Sunday becomes the day for home improvement projects, leaving us with clean-up to do during the week.
In any case, Sunday has become the day of distractions and one that I personally dread.
Lately, though, we’re becoming more mindful of the ways that we spend our time: slowing down, simplifying, enjoying life moment by moment. This is great nearly every day of the week, except for Sunday, a day that we were feeling less and less content with.
While we’ve had a lot of success simplifying our workweek, unfortunately that has meant that many things were getting crammed into Sunday, making it absolutely miserable.
So we’re changing up our strategy to get rid of unnecessary tasks, spread out the workload during the week, and do what has to be done more efficiently. Ultimately, we’re noticing that the Sunday blues have started to lift!
I’ll write a more in-depth post about this in the coming week, but I wanted to give all of you on my email list the best, quickest tips to start banishing the Sunday blues now, before Sunday even rolls around:
Write Down All of Your Sunday Tasks
In order for this to work, you need to first know exactly what is required of you on Sunday. This may mean toughing it out for an additional crazy Sunday, writing down every task you complete and can think of.
In my case, this list was long….as in, and entire page.
And I was amazed at how far gone our Sundays had become. If you want this method to be truly successful, I encourage you to write down everything honestly.
Rank Them In Order of Importance
Now, working with you list, start with #1 for the most important task and work your way through your entire list, numbering each item. I encourage you to do this quickly, “going with your gut” which will give you the most accurate prioritizing of tasks.
Next, grab a highlighter (a few colors, if you can) and highlight the tasks numbered 1-5. These are your most important tasks, and so long as they don’t take you all day, and your comfortable doing them on Sunday, leave them be.
You can continue to do these tasks on Sunday without much of a problem.
Eliminate Tasks Not Absolutely Necessary (or do them less often)
Next, start from the lowest priority items on your list.
Are there any you can eliminate by delegating to someone else, hiring out, or just not doing?
Can any of these tasks be done less frequently? Say, every other week, or monthly?
I encourage you to be real with yourself: what you have time for, what absolutely needs to be done, and what you can get others to do. Set a goal of eliminating half of your list, by either doing it less often or not doing it at all.
It may sound harsh, but if you’re at the point where your Sundays have become miserable, then cutting wherever possible is exactly what has to happen to reclaim the day.
Determine When You’re Most Productive
Bear with me while we move away from your task list for a moment. In order to allocate the remaining tasks to other parts of the week, you need to determine when you are the most productive.
Some may already know this, but if you don’t, here’s how to figure it out: Pay attention to when you get bursts of energy throughout the week, and on which days.
For myself, I’m a Monday person. I love everything about Mondays and I’m crazy productive on this day. I get massive amounts of work done starting about 5:30 am Monday mornings all the way until 9 or 10 pm nearly every Monday. In fact, it’s not uncommon for me to cook for an entire week during a Monday afternoon.
And, even though we tend to rise early, and have a self-imposed bedtime of 9pm, on Mondays I’ll often allow myself to stay up later simply because I’m in “get stuff done” mode.
It works for me, so I take advantage of it.
Your productive times are probably far different from mine. Maybe you’re an early bird, getting work done for a few hours early in the morning. Or maybe you’re a night owl, getting a burst of energy as soon as it starts to get dark.
Others may have a few mid-morning hours every day, each afternoon, or any other time.
No person is alike, so I encourage you to pay attention for an entire week to when you’re most productive and write it down so you can remember.
Spread Out The Middle Tasks
Once you’ve found out when your productive hours are, it is important to utilize them. If these hours are during your work hours, and you don’t have the ability to “flex” your time, you’ll have to get a bit more creative, and I’ll give you some practical solutions for this problem in a moment.
Hopefully, though, you have some productive hours while you’re at home and ready to knock our your to-do list before Sunday rolls around.
Map out those middle priority tasks on your list according to your energy hours, spacing them evenly during your week. I suggest making an appointment with yourself, on a written or electronic calendar so you’re reminded of what you had planned, as well as the fact that you should be feeling like getting all the things done!
What About When Work Takes all Your Mojo?
Try rising earlier: This will definitely be hard, make no mistake. But, as a former morning-hater, I can tell you that after more than a year of rising at 4:30 am each week day, I have found that my early mornings (while they may require a very large cup of coffee) have become my most productive hours. It can be done!
Exercise: Need to create a few productive hours in the evening? Get a workout in! I often use this trick if I need to power through some writing or designing in the evenings a just don’t feel like it. Usually, I down a shot of pre-workout, and then keep the workout to 30 minutes. Afterwards, besides being thirsty, I’m ready to get stuff done!
Have a cup of coffee: If you’re not worried about insomnia, have a cup of coffee or two about 20 minutes before you need to get going on your list. The caffeine + the refreshing coffee break will spur you into action!
Tell me, how do you stay productive? What tips would you add?
And, if you’re ready to get started taking back Sunday, grab the free printable I made just for you, to get started!
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May EatCookExplore says
I like the idea of planning out your Sundays. I tend to just drift and feel guilty about the ong list of things that need doing, ending up leaving it all til the next weekend.