Unstructured weekend time, if you’re lucky enough to “get” weekend time, is great for getting a jump on Monday.  I know, I know…you’re reading this and yelling, “Can’t I just do nothing on the weekend!” Of course you can, but do you want the anxiety that comes with doing nothing when Monday morning rolls around and you truly do have too much to do?

Here are some weekend preparation ideas to help make Mondays easier, less hassled. Once you get into the swing of doing these preps, they won’t take too much time away from your weekend time.

  1.  Write down your weekly goals… no more than six.  (This tip comes from the Ivy Lee Method used by Charles Schwab.)  Write down the six most important things you need to accomplish in the coming week. (Actually, writing down the six most important things you need to accomplish the next day at the end of every day is truly the way to go here.)  Prioritize  those goals in the order of their importance. On Monday, concentrate on the number one goal on that list and just do that task until it’s done.  Then go on to the number two goal and just do that task until it’s done, etc.
  2. Put together a batch of tasks that seem to naturally click.  Instead of flitting back and forth from one task to another, batch together the tasks that seem related to each other.  Then, on Monday, work on the tasks you’ve batched together on the weekend.
  3. Stop obsessing over what hasn’t worked out for you during the last week.  If you keep dwelling on what didn’t work, you’ll keep feeling the negative emotions involved with that project/disappointment/thing that just didn’t work.  Tell yourself another story about what happened/didn’t happen so you can stop torturing yourself about it.  It happened…accept it…get over it…figure out a different solution for next time.
  4. Pick out a couple of work outfits to wear during the coming week.  Pick out the accessories as well.  Steam/iron whatever needs to be pressed so that you don’t have to do it during the Monday morning rush to get out the door.
  5. Free up your living space.  Clear your desk, edit your filing cabinet, donate whatever you don’t need/use.  By decluttering your working/living space, you’re decluttering your brain.
  6. Prepare meals ahead of time.  The magazine Real Simple has a PDF for recipes included in its “Sunday Prep School.”  Most of the washing and chopping can be done ahead of time for ready-to-go meals so you’ll have one less thing to do when Monday rolls around.