Every morning sort of went down like this: I’d already be stressed out the second I woke up, and my entire shower time would be spent frantically thinking of my to-dos and errands for the week. The panic would continue as I got ready, as well as on my office commute. I was already setting myself up for a hectic start to my day, as you could imagine it didn’t stop once I got to my desk. But once I began doing one very simple thing on my Sundays, the rest of my workweek changed drastically. At the end of every weekend, I sit down and plan my week out on paper, so that I’m ready to hit the ground running come Monday.
It probably sounds like the obvious thing to do, right? Totally, but once I actually committed to making it a habit, everything changed. I’m a huge advocate of using a physical planner to stay organized, but I’ve always filled things in day to day. Now, I take about 20 minutes on Sunday afternoon or evening to brainstorm story ideas for the week, fill in my calendar with plans and scheduled workout classes, and list out everything else I need to take care of (bills, errands, reminders, etc.). I always argue that writing things down versus adding to your online calendar (I do both) helps you remember them better. Seeing assignments, meetings, and plans spaced out in front of you also gives you a better sense temporally. For example, knowing that something’s due on Wednesday doesn’t give you the same urgency as seeing it due the day after tomorrow.
When Monday rolls around, my mornings are free to calmly get ready for my day now that a matrix-looking list isn’t running through my head. My showers have also turned into a relaxing morning ritual with feel-good music, since I already have everything planned out. Overall, I feel so much more at ease before heading into the office. The key is really to force yourself to prep on that Sunday (and every Sunday!) to make your life significantly easier on the days to follow. Trust me, it’s seriously life changing.