If you’re anything like me, you dread Mondays. I find myself in denial that Monday actually exists until the alarm clock goes off at 5:45 AM (no, that’s not a typo). As a result of this willful ignorance, I struggle in the mornings to get everything together for a successful week. So, I used to start my Monday running late, wearing wrinkled clothes, carrying no cash, and spending a small fortune every week on lunch. Sound familiar? A few weeks ago, I implemented a new plan. Thus far, it has worked well for me, and I wanted to share the ideas. Here are my recommendations of five quick Sunday evening tips that will make you upcoming workweek run smoothly:
- Use the Any List iPhone app. This handy app lets you put together a grocery list, and share it with other members of your family. It may take a few weeks to get into the habit, but I assure you that it will be well worth the effort. Any List makes your grocery shopping experience run smoothly by separating items into categories of where you can find them in the store. It’s a huge time saver.
- Use your Sunday to plan a healthy, but substantial refrigerator-free lunch for every upcoming workday. I use Gladware containers, an ice pack, and a reusable grocery bag. My lunches include a single-serving (yes, I read the label) of the following: a small snack-sized back of Sun Chips, a small container of Blue Diamond Almonds (I recommend the Wasabi/Soy flavor), a small container of whole grain Goldfish crackers, a granola bar, beef jerky, a Light Babybel Cheese Wheel, a bottle of Honest Tea, an apple or peach (because they have a longer shelf life than most fruits), baby carrots, Chobani yogurt, and a sandwich. Take the time to make a week’s worth of sandwiches. I buy deli meat, deli cheese, and a long loaf of french bread. On Sunday afternoon, I cut the french bread into five equal parts. Then I add the meat and cheese (I like ham and gouda), and put deli mustard in between the meat and cheese to keep it from making the bread soggy. I’m a fan of cilantro, so I also add that to the sandwiches. Finally, I wrap each of the five sandwiches in aluminum foil and freeze them. Each morning, you can grab a sandwich and it usually thaws nicely by lunchtime. Put the cold items in a single container, and add a small ice pack. These items are easy to take out of the fridge in the morning, and load up in your bag in a flash. I keep a list near the fridge or pantry, so I can remember it all.
- Go to the ATM, and get some cash to get you through the week This is a struggle for me. I rarely carry cash. I have often found myself in a bind at work, when co-workers ask for contributions to “Insert name here’s” birthday or retirement present. It’s a simple act, that saves you a great deal of stress and mental energy later.
- Put away your laundry. It takes 30 minutes at most. Don’t start Monday with clean clothes sitting wrinkled in your dryer. Just make yourself do it. It’s annoying and we all hate it; but you’ll go to work in the morning with the look of a professional adult.
- Take a melatonin to make you sleepy (approximately 9 hours before you want to wake up). I find it hard to settle back into a normal sleep schedule on Sundays, and have found this step to be a lifesaver for getting my Monday started off on the right foot. I do not recommend taking melatonin every night. I usually limit my intake to once a week. Melatonin is a natural hormone, and overdosing on supplemental melatonin can ultimately restrict your body’s ability to produce it for itself.
Thus far, this new system has reinvented my Monday mornings. I hope it has the same result for you.