If you find yourself either dreading Monday or depleted by Friday, wondering where your days went or feeling like you just can’t ever catch up, you may want to take a look at how you’re spending your Sundays.
While weekends are great for rest, fun, and spiritual renewal, dedicating a small part to prepare for the week ahead can create a wonderful ripple effect that’s enjoyed every day of the week.
Here are a few simple tasks that you may consider adding to your weekend routine to prepare yourself and your family for a great week ahead.
Before you get to your checklist, take a page from the Italian grandmas of yesteryear and prepare an early supper for your family. Put your slow cooker to work or, just like Grandma, start a giant pot of sauce that will cook into the afternoon.
An early dinner on Sunday won’t only be a delight to share with your family, but it will also signal to everyone that it’s time to wind down early in preparation for another work and school week ahead.
As supper simmers, you can get a load of laundry going and aim for an empty hamper before the end of the weekend, ensuring everyone has everything they need for the coming week.
Take some time to sit with a favorite beverage and perhaps a journal and think through your highest priorities. What are your long-term goals—for the year, for the month, and for the week ahead? As you prepare for the coming week, aim to align your activities with those goals as closely as possible.
A quick glance at your calendar will allow you to determine what’s on tap for the week ahead. You may make note of a unique appointment you have to prepare for, a child’s activity that they’ll need a snack or uniform for, and generally how hectic or easygoing things will be during the week.
Now that you know what’s coming up, think about your family’s meals and snacks for the week, check your current kitchen inventory, and either order groceries online or take a quick trip to the grocery store so you’re starting out the week stocked up.
Once the groceries are in, batch prep ingredients for easy use throughout the week. You might wash and slice some fruit, grill some steak or chicken, bag separate snacks for easy grabbing, or set up a crockpot meal or casserole that can be enjoyed all week long.
As you prep ingredients, get as many lunchbox items ready as possible so that weekday mornings are more about sipping coffee than making lunches.
Tidy up each space in your home as quickly as possible. Enlist the help of your family to find a place for everything and get everything in its place. Shoes that have been left out, jackets that need to be hung up, laundry that should be put away, papers that have piled up, empty water bottles that have collected in bedrooms—clear the decks and get your home back to a tidy and ready state.
As you go about tidying, have a box or bag at the ready that will receive items you’re ready to donate. Before bedtime, get that receptacle in the car or at the door ready to head to its final destination.
Speaking of clutter, quickly go through any inboxes you manage—your paper mail, your email, your voice mail, and even your texts. Empty them out, flag anything that requires attention, and have confidence that you’re starting out on top of things.
If you’re homeschooling this year, take the time to prepare everything you and your children will need for the week ahead. Go through the curricula, set out the read-alouds, sharpen the pencils—do whatever it is you need to do to feel ready and prepared to tackle another week.
Before heading to bed, make sure your kitchen’s tidy, your coffee maker is programmed, your alarm clock is set, and your clothes are laid out. Aim to make this practice a nightly habit you continue all week so that each morning you’ll be sure to wake up ready to rise and shine.