Sunday night anxiety in advance of the upcoming work week is very real. According to a recent research study, more than 75 percent of employees experience it. Half of them reported that their Sunday night angst was so severe that it made them consider changing jobs. Only 22 percent of more than 3,600 survey respondents said they were never nervous to return to work after a weekend.
How can you avoid this weekly downer and set yourself up for success, starting first thing on Monday? Just a few simple steps can help immensely, as long as you build them into your Friday afternoon routine.
Update & Sync Your Calendar
Before you leave on Friday, be sure you have a good handle on next week’s tasks, deadlines, meetings and responsibilities. This will enable you to start off strong on Monday, setting the tone for a less stressful, more productive workweek.
- Prioritize your to-do list. Start with the “must do” items. If you get through those, plus handle the unexpected crises and interruptions that will inevitably occur, the week will be a success.
- Make your goals realistic. If necessary, break seemingly insurmountable tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces. And rather than try and plan for every single minute, allow some down time for those unplanned occurrences. Last but not least, don’t be too hard on yourself if a few items go unchecked at week’s end.
- Apply the 80/20 rule. Which parts of your job, if completed correctly and on time, would pay the biggest dividends? Generally, 80 percent of your value comes from 20 percent of your efforts, so identify the biggest potential wins and direct your focus there. Get the most important, critical things handled first.
- Plan for some R and R. Identify times during the week to do things for yourself – both alone and with others. Whether it’s your gym workout or book club, dinner with friends, or time spend reading a good book, it will keep you from despairing when work starts to pile up.
Clean Up Before the Weekend
Literally and figuratively, try to get organized for next week before you lock up for the weekend.
- Look over work completed this past week. Run through relevant emails, invoices, meeting records or your to-do list. You should have some way of tracking progress on tasks. If not, create one. This gives you context for where you’ll need to pick up after the weekend and a chance to shuffle tasks around if needed.
- Clean off your desk. Clean work areas are linked to higher productivity. Leave your work area neat, even if it means simply creating organized piles of paper or putting it all into your inbox and then processing through it.
- Leave as few dreaded tasks as possible. Take care of the things you least want to handle before you go home on Friday, if possible. If they have to wait till Monday, plan to get them out of the way early so you don’t waste the day procrastinating. Make that call or have that uncomfortable conversation. You’ll feel better and your productivity level will soar.
For more tips on achieving your career goals – both short and long term – read our related posts or contact the recruitment and development experts at PrideStaff Fresno today.