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October 29, 2017

5 Ways I Prepare for the Week Ahead

Preparing for the Week Ahead - Olivia Adams PR

It’s Sunday morning and I’m currently snuggled up on the couch with coffee in hand, candles lit and Twilight playing in the background (yes, I am a closet Twilight fan although Harry Potter will always be my #1). It’s also Halloween weekend, so I’m soaking up every bit of “fall vibes” I can before the holidays kick in.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about Sundays. Weekends are often a sacred time where we try to pack everything we didn’t get to do during the week into 48 hours while also making time for fun, hobbies and catching up on sleep (aka self care). Talk about high expectations for an epic weekend! 

For a couple of years, weekends used to stress me out a lot. I mean a lot. I would celebrate on Friday, run errands or catch up on work I didn’t get to during the week on Saturdays and then arrive to Sunday feeling like the weekend slipped through my fingers (and often cry about it or go into full flown anxiety attack mode). What I didn’t realize at the time, however, was that I was actually having amazing weekends; I was just hard on myself for not getting to everything on my weekend to-do list. 

And then I soon discovered I was approaching weekends the wrong way. It’s the weekend – why do I need to pressure myself to do all of the things?

Once I stopped watching the clock and started letting go of my insane weekend to-do list, I won my weekends back. While I still create weekend to-do lists (because there is so much satisfaction in making lists), I’ve learned to give myself more grace if I don’t get to everything. After all, it is the weekend – a time for rest and relaxation. What’s most important to me now is that I completed my #1 to-do list item (whether that was meal prepping or finishing a work project) and completed something for myself (like reading a book, doing something fun or watching a movie).

I’ll be the first to admit that every now and again I get a case of the “Sunday Scaries.” But fortunately, they are now a rare occurance. That’s why today I thought I’d share a few things I do every Sunday to help me prepare for the upcoming week, and head into Monday feeling refreshed and excited. 

Take stock of my to-do list for the week.

Every Sunday, I crack open my trusty Simplified Planner to write my Monday to-do list and write in meetings, conference calls, deadlines and appointments for the new work week. Even though every week changes on the fly (e.g. calls getting canceled or a new project to added to the to-do list, basically #PRLife), mapping out my week gives me peace of mind knowing that I can head into Monday with an idea of what’s in store and as few surprises as possible. 

Refresh my weekly priorities.

Working with a handful of different and diverse clients, I’m constantly on the move and having to stay on top of my to do list. I keep a running list of every project I have for each client (I used to keep it in a Word document but now I use a trusty notepad) so I know what I have in the pipeline for each client. This master list allows me to prioritize projects for each client, and then at the end of the week I can cross off what I accomplished (talk about some awesome satisfaction!).

Grocery shopping and meal prep.

I always end my weekend with a trip to the grocery store and an afternoon of meal prep. This is probably one of my biggest saving graces as it gives me one less thing to worry about Monday-Friday. After shopping, I prep lunches and dinners for the week, since I spend most evenings at the gym and don’t get home until 8:30 p.m. Having meals prepared in advance makes it easier to plan and gives me more time so I don’t have to think about cooking when I get home every night.

Something fun.

Something fun is always a priority for Sundays. I mean, it is Sunday Funday after all. Sunday Funday usually looks like either a movie date with my boyfriend, checking out new breweries or going to brunch, meeting up with friends for trivia night, or having a lazy Sunday at home watching football or TV. Lately I’ve been trying to incorporate more of my hobbies like reading, blogging and handlettering into my “something fun” category so I can also feel like I did something rewarding for myself.

Relax and unwind.

At the end of my Sunday (anywhere between 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.) is when I build in time for additional relaxation. Although meal prep or “something fun” sometimes bleeds into this special time of the day, I try to build in 30 minutes for unwinding before bed. Unfortunately, this has been the hardest thing for me to do lately because life has been really busy and I’m often finding myself going to bed without unwinding first. When I get to unwind, however, this usually consists of doing a facial, painting my nails, reading a book, journaling or watching a movie or TV show. 

Weekends are still a work in progress for me, and there are some where I wish I had more minutes in the day. However, slowing down and giving myself time to relax and do things for me have helped me fill my cup. Hopefully these rituals I follow give you some inspiration for a slower and happier weekend.

I’m always curious to hear how others spend their Sundays. What are some of your favorite ways to prepare for the week ahead? 

Photo credit: Twigy Posts 

Preparing for the Week Ahead - Olivia Adams PR: Finding yourself with a case of the "Sunday Blues"? Here are some things I do each Sunday to prepare for the week ahead and feel excited and refreshed for Monday!