There was a time in my life that I hated Sundays. They were the worst days of the week for me. It was my own dang fault though. I completed both my Undergrad and Graduate degree online, so you had to be pretty self disciplined to get all of your coursework done. I was working, a mom to my oldest and newly moving in with my boyfriend at the time (now husband), so there was a lot to juggle. I always, always, always, waited until the very last minute to get my work done. So every Sunday, no matter what my family was doing, or how nice the weather was, I was stuck inside on the computer completing my coursework. I hated Sundays.
Now it is my favorite day of the week! I find that if I feel more productive on my Sundays, then I set up myself and my family for a better week ahead. That to me means so much as our weeks are pretty crazy, so taking away some of the chaos helps in a really big way! It has taken me awhile to get to this place, but I wanted to share what my Sundays look like so you could think about setting some intentions that might help you feel more productive in your home as well.
- I don’t make plans on Sunday’s. This one is HARD. There was a point in our lives that we were true sticklers on this. We literally made no plans. I mean, we missed family birthday parties. We have since backed down a little on this, but it has to be a “hell yes” in order for us to make plans on a Sunday. It’s the one day a week we feel we have true control over.
- Meal/snack prep: I do all my grocery shopping on Friday after work. I use our local grocery store that has the amazing service called “to go” shopping. I order, they pick it out and bag it, I pick it up. Then, on Sunday, I spend an hour, maybe two, in my kitchen snack and meal prepping for the week. I make sure there is something for breakfast for the family. I make 6 salads so we have three days of lunches to start the week off. I make hard boiled eggs, homemade hummus, etc. I have our meals planned and prepped for the week, but also I always have a couple of back up meals in my freezer ready to go in case something comes up. All of this is to ensure that our weeknights are as easy as possible. We don’t get a lot of time after work with our children, but by setting ourselves up like this we are able to join an hour or two which is priceless to say the very least!
- I plan my workouts for the week: Every Sunday I look at the week ahead and plan what days and what workout I am going to get in. I chat with my husband about what days he needs to either work late or get his workouts in. By planning ahead we are able to balance both of our needs with the family calendar in order to make it all happen. Right now I am aiming to workout 5 days a week (click here to read more about my health journey), but life happens and that doesn’t always pan out as I had originally planned. It’s great going into my week with a plan of action, otherwise it won’t happen at all. At the start of the week I make a promise to myself, put my workouts in both my work and home calendars and make it happen. If something comes up (and something always comes up), I just shift gears, make some changes to the schedule and make it up where we can. I treat my workouts like doctor appointments I wouldn’t miss!
- I write out every day of that week and it’s tasks: I have a notebook that started like a bullet journal, but really I just made up what worked for me. Each Sunday I sit down and plan out the week. I write out each day and land what has to happen. Some are repetitive and some are unique, especially if something is coming up. Here are some of the examples of things I capture:
- Who is picking the kids up?
- Is it a workout day for me? If so, what workout?
- Do I have to work late? Go in early? *This is the only work related item on my tasks, this tool is strictly for personal use. My calendar for work is on my phone with all the details needed.
- Is there another task for today? I.e. Thursdays I do my ordering for to go groceries. Doctor appointments? Do I need to go to the bank? Return library books?
- Do we have something coming up that I need to back into? I.e. birthday party, holiday, vacation, etc. Something that is a bigger task that I can break down and make realistic with our schedule in baby steps.
- If the above is no, then what projects are we currently working on or need to work on in the house? Change over seasons/clothes? Go through clothes for the kids and post to marketplace? Decorate for the fall?
- Family dinner: Often most weeknights we are unable to all sit at the dinner table together. However, every Sunday night our family is together at our table, at the same time and we are breaking bread together. This alone makes it my favorite day of the week! This is HARD to do, especially having a 17 year old. It’s funny, it’s become such a thing in our house that my oldest knows that if she wants to go out at night, she has to be home for dinner, then she can head on out with her friends. Being in the season that we are currently in, it really is so beautiful to have even one day a week that we are all around the table together. Of course, there are times I wished it was more, but in this season of life it is just not the reality and that is okay. We make Sunday’s our priority.
- I play with my kids: It might not seem like it with the list of tasks above, but Sundays are the best for play time with my kids. I think it is because we have the whole day and there is less stress to get everything done in a short period of time. When I am in the kitchen doing my cooking the kids are usually in there with me either helping, or using their pots and pans to make their own yummy recipes. If I am asked to play, in most cases, as I am not perfect, I stop what I am doing to get on the floor to play. I like to have most of the kitchen stuff done first thing in the AM because as the day gets later I definitely lose my momentum!
Something I learned over the years is that by adding too many things to my Sunday like plans and then all of the tasks above, it made it way too much. I have also learned that by doing the tasks above it can really make for a calmer workweek. A lot of people tease me that my Sunday’s look like this, or that we don’t make plans on Sunday, but that’s okay. You do you and I’ll do me! I have found that having three children, a full time job, finding spare minutes throughout the day or week for some me time and lets not forget about cleaning or keeping up with laundry, it is a lot. We don’t have a lot of time on weeknights by the time we get home from work and hit all the normal routine of preparing for the next day.
By setting up our Sunday’s in this way, it is worth it to me because it is creating a better quality of life for me and my family throughout the week. I can spend more time with my kids before they have to go to bed. I also have downtime with my husband once the kids are down for the night to focus on us. Or, I am working on this blog or my health to make me be the best version of me. I make our Sunday’s enjoyable and always have music playing so we can dance to our favorite tunes while getting it done. This works for me and might not work for everyone, and that is OKAY!
The key is not to prioritize what is on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. Look at your week and see if there is something you could adjust to be a little more intentional with your time (read more about my thoughts on being in control of your calendar here). Our time is just as valuable as anything else. We don’t have a lot of it and the time we do have we want it to be of quality. Try making some tweaks even for a week and see what it does for you! You might just find a new habit that helps set you up for success in another area of your life.
Nobody is too busy, it’s just a matter of identifying your priorities.
Do you have something you do in order to set yourself up or your family for the workweek? I'd love it if you shared it below!
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