Most people find that they dread Sunday evenings. The almost-time-to-go-back-to-work blues set in and the whole world seems to get a little bit more bleak. Even if you love your job, you’re probably not too jazzed about your weekend being over.
But the secret to truly successful people, of course, is that they never stop working. And the hours between the weekend and the new workweek are almost always wasted. What if you could put them to better use?
Here are a few strategies to get a leg up on the week ahead and set yourself up to be a huge success—or just make sure you use the leisure time available to you to maximize your enjoyment of your free time—which will refresh you best for whatever Monday brings.
1. Have Fun
Successful people understand their weekday time constraints, and so they make sure to pack their weekend full of things that will relax and rejuvenate them. See family and friends. Do your favorite activities. And save something really fun for last. That way you’ll be extra focused on the fun part of Sunday night, rather than the less fun part of Monday morning. End on a high note!
2. Work Out
Never underestimate the power of endorphins. Do a bit of yoga, or a gym class, or a tennis game. You’ll find it centers you for the week ahead.
3. Get Organized
Sit down with your calendar and start to plan things for the coming week. Set yourself goals and task lists. Just make sure not to stress yourself out.
4. Eat Healthy
Avoid the temptation to pig out on nacho pizzas. Try making a healthy evening meal instead. You’ll feel lighter and brighter when your alarm goes off on Monday morning.
5. Catch Up
Sunday night can be a great time to catch up on all the emails, phone calls, and texts you’ve had to dodge during your busy workweek.
Put down your phone. Shut your laptop. Don’t check your emails or your texts. Read a book instead, or watch a movie. Reflect on the week behind you and the week ahead. Disconnect for a minute before you have to plunge back into the world.
Sundays are a great time to give back. Do something meaningful with your last free day. Put a little time and energy into helping others and your good vibes will carry you through.
8. Tidy Up
If your week is super busy, chances are that is reflected in the state of your bag and wallet—crammed with bits of detritus and crumpled receipts. Clean out and reorganize. Make it look good for Monday morning and you’ll feel an extra boost. While you’re at it, try the same trick on your fridge. Toss out expired food and wipe your shelves.
Plan your outfits for the week. Your grocery list. Your breakfast! That leaves your morning free for clear thinking and concentrating on your day.
Quality sleep (and a good quantity of sleep) is crucial. You probably aren’t always able to get as much as you’d like. Make sure to make up for that on Sunday evenings.