Being productive is all about preparation. If you know what you need to do ahead of time, you will know exactly where to dive in as soon as you get started. On the other side, if you do not take the time to prepare, you will find yourself flustered and uncertain because you now have to think through whatever it is you need to do.
Having a great and blessed week does not just start on Mondays. It starts Sunday night. It begins with what you set in your mind you are going to do or achieve before you actually set out to do it. We would be looking at few ways on how to get set and prepared for the week on a Sunday night.
1.) Reflect on what you finished or closed with during the week past
Your to-do list is and will always be on standby. It moves as you move, and it stays put as you stay put. If you don’t get them done, they remain on the list. If you are always getting things done, then your list will be a growing and expanding reflection of that process (which is your set goals and objectives). However, in order to know what is “next,” you need to take a moment to reflect on the status of where things currently are or stand.
Look through your to-do list from the week prior and see what you got done or didn’t get done – and ask yourself why certain things got accomplished and others didn’t. If something remains on your to-do list for weeks and yet undone, you need to take a decision. Either you remove it entirely (clearly it’s not getting done) or you push it all the way to the top and make it a priority on your to-do list, before anything else.
2.) Organize your to-do list based on category
This is a strategy I’ve learned over time (although I’m sure others use it as well). Go through your to-do list and organize things by category or project, even separating between Random Life Things and Work Things.
Reason why it’s helpful to organize by category is in two-folds:
First, it is far less overwhelming to look at a to-do list that is organized by category. Looking at a long and random list of everything mixed together, you can feel how exhausting it would be to bounce between so many different types of tasks. That’s what you want to avoid. Instead, organize by category so that you can get in one frame of mind and work through everything in that specific category.
Secondly, you are far more efficient when you can remain in one frame of mind for a long period of time, rather than bouncing between different types of tasks. A well organized and prioritized to do list makes for effective time management. Organize your to-do list and you’ll be more efficient.
3.) Do what you can ahead of time
The best example I have here is a meal preparation. If you bring your lunch to work, or you pack your bag in the morning, you will definitely be everywhere at the same time, why not do those things the night before?
Anything you can do ahead of time gives you more freedom the next day, and it’s one less thing you have to think about the next morning. Being refreshed and agile for work is key, be focused. The reason why this is so valuable is that you have more head space to think about what is coming up next, instead of trying to remember all the things you have to do all at once.
Mondays are always jam packed. Anything you can get done now, you might as well do it the night before to pave way for a smooth running of your Monday because in most cases, Mondays determine the rest of the week.
4.) Prioritize your input, and not output
Sundays should be input days and not output days. The start of every week is always output focused. You show up in your workplace and you are expected to be in output mode. It’s in your advantage to spend as much of your Sunday as possible in input mode. You want to be feeding your creativity and your soul so that come Monday morning you are ready to go. And more input leads to better output.
5.) Have time for yourself
And finally, the most important part of Sunday night should be the time you have solely to yourself. Going back to the idea of input versus output, you need to sit down quietly and relax in order to sustain yourself throughout the week. One way to do this is to meditate. Another way is to read (a book, either offline or online and not chatting on social media), or even to just sit quietly with a cup of tea or your favorite drink. Silence does wonders, and in this our over busy society it is a valuable asset we all often forget.
Take time to sit in silence for just fifteen minutes, no distractions, no interruptions then go to sleep ready for the week ahead and you will be amazed at how refreshed you will feel the next morning.