Do you ever go to bed on Sunday night unable to sleep?  Are the stresses of the week ahead keeping you awake?  If you’re like most people, the thought of starting the week can cause for some degree of anxiety.  However, there are some simple steps you can take to ease the worry and get your week off to a positive, productive start.

1. Make your list.  Most of us have a running to-do list of both long and short term tasks.  Before you start your week, highlight or create a separate list of items that need to be completed in the next few days.  These will give your week focus, and by narrowing down the list, it will seem more manageable.  Tip:  Don’t wait until Sunday evening to create your list; this can get in the way of a restful night’s sleep.  Ideally, work on your list before you wrap things up on Friday. Plus, your mind is still fresh with exactly what needs to be done.

2. Plan a menu.  Eating healthy increases productivity and energizes your body.  The key to doing so is by planning a menu.  To maximize your savings at the grocery store, check your circular for what’s on sale and plan your menu around those items.  This way, when you arrive at the supermarket, you are armed with a list that will provide all your cooking needs for the week ahead.  Tip:  Prepare your food ahead of time.  If you’re always running around in the morning, pack your lunches the night before.  Also, consider cooking a few meals over the weekend, store in appropriate-sized containers, and freeze.  Now you’ll always have a meal on hand when there is just no time to cook.  Take it out of the freezer in the morning, and heat it up when you come home from work.

3. Firm up your schedule.  Perhaps you have some tentative meeting dates, conference calls, or product demonstrations.  Before the week begins, finalize those obligations so you will have a good idea of what you can realistically accomplish throughout the week.  Tip:  Don’t over-schedule.  By trying to fit too much into one day or week, you may be setting yourself up for a mid-week burnout.  Of course you always want to challenge yourself and work to build your business, but know your limits and set yourself up for success.

4. Set aside your work clothes.  If you work outside the home, dressing professionally plays an important role in your day.  Since Mondays usually set the tone for the rest of the week, take a few minutes on Sunday night to set aside what you will be wearing on Monday.  Don’t forget to choose not only your basic outfit, but any accessories like shoes, a tie, or jewelry.  Tip:  Set aside 3-4 outfits so you are ready for the week.  Some people choose to do this each night, but usually as the week rolls on, evenings get busier and busier.  Give your closet a quick scan to be sure you have a few outfits ready to go.  Doing this will also give you a heads up on any laundry that may need to be done.

5. Go to bed early; get up on time.  Nothing facilitates disorganization like a rushed morning caused by hitting the snooze button a few too many times.  Avoid this rut by going to bed nice and early on Sunday night, so you will wake up refreshed and ready to take on the challenges that Monday mornings can bring.  For the same reasons, get yourself up 15 minutes earlier than usual on Mondays so you have plenty of time to deal with any unforeseen consequences like an empty gas tank or a coffee stain on your shirt.  Tip:  If you work outside the home, plan on leaving 15 minutes before you actually have to be out the door.

How do you get your week off to a good start?  Share your ideas in the comments below!