Your Sunday Game Plan: 3 Effective Rituals to Tackle the Week Ahead

Updated 08/21/17

It's hard not to think of Sunday as the prelude to Monday and the long week ahead. Though it's still the weekend, the stress and anxieties of the impending workweek begin to seep into your conscious and take over your headspace as you're trying to enjoy your time off. But you can use this precious time to take ownership of what's to come, proactively setting yourself up for a successful week through to next Saturday. Beyond the commonly suggested tips to prep meals or plan outfits, some simple mental frameworks can transform the way you tackle the upcoming week.

Write down a succinct set of goals. Write down the six most important things you need to accomplish on Monday. James Clear, who outlines the Ivy Lee method for peak productivity, advises to "prioritize those six items in order of their true importance." Then when you arrive at work, "concentrate only on the first task," writes Clear. "Work until the first task is finished before moving on to the second task." At the end of the day, draw up a new list for Tuesday. It can include items that weren't accomplished Monday, but you'll restructure the numbered list in order of importance once more.

This gives purpose and direction to each day, and it reduces the anxiety of impending tasks.

Try the "batching" strategy. To streamline your approach to taking on projects, assignments, and the steps necessary to achieve your goals, try "batching" them—tackling alike items within the same time period. "By 'batching' the work you have to accomplish, you don't have to constantly shift gears," writes Paul Jarvis in The Muse. You brain functions more effectively when you're not jumping from one project to another.

Look forward, not back. As tempting as it may be to dwell on the previous week, your best strategy for a successful week ahead is by looking forward. The Ladders article notes that the more we think about something, the more we attract the emotions around it into our minds and our lives. So as you look ahead to the upcoming workweek, instead of mentally preparing yourself for the worst possible outcome, focus on the above strategies you've laid out for yourself to accomplish your goals. In other words, use Sunday to write your own story for how the next five days will play out.

Do you have a set of Sunday rituals you swear by for a successful workweek? Share your strategies with us in the comments.

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