There are a few things that you probably do on Sunday before you start your week. You might workout, go for a walk, have a night in watching Netflix, do laundry or go grocery shopping to prepare for the week ahead.
Well, all those things are fine, and I’m not saying that you should stop doing them. But LinkedIn influencer Karl McDonnell says that doing one thing in addition to your normal Sunday activities will guarantee that you have a more successful week.
McDonnell is the CEO at Strayer Education, a multi-million dollar secondary education company that provides instruction both online and in the classroom. (You’ve probably seen the company’s inspirational commercials on TV.)
Before that, McDonnell was the Vice President at Goldman Sachs & Co. and the General Manager at Walt Disney World, to name a few.
McDonnell published a post on LinkedIn just last week saying that, though he does enjoy spending time with family and relaxing on Sunday, there’s one thing he always does before dropping his head on his pillow:
I find a quiet place to focus and make a list of everything I’m putting off. Then, I mark two or three key items and resolve to tackle them in the coming week.
He said that few Americans do this simple task, but that it sets you up to succeed in four important ways:
1. It Helps Give You Clarity
McDonnell wrote that sometimes we get so caught up in our day-to-day activities throughout the week that we forget entirely what some of our goals were. “It’s often not until we have a few days or hours to breathe that we remember the things we wanted to do yesterday,” McDonnell wrote.
At the end of a weekend, you and your brain are more relaxed, and you can reassess what some of the goals are that you might have missed the week before.
Writing them down will help you remember them in the coming week. But don’t make your list too daunting. Keep it simple. If you’re having a lot of trouble, here’s a Greatist step-by-step list on how to make good lists.
2. You Will Face Your Fears
McDonnell wrote that writing out not just what you want to do, but what you need to get done, will help you face the tasks you’ve been avoiding. “Facing these challenges on a Sunday night is empowering because you have the entire week to conquer your goals,” he said.
3. You Can Prioritize Better
McDonnell suggests only choosing one or two things to tackle each week. He said that doing this will make the tasks more manageable and will “ensure success.” Even more important, it will force you to acknowledge the fact that you can’t do it all.
4. The List Will Hold You Accountable
The list format forces you to have a hard copy of your goals, which is much easier to ignore than a virtual copy in your head. The virtual copy is much easier to tuck away in your mind, but that hard copy will be a real reminder of the things you’d like to do.
McDonnell also described it as a regular “check in” with yourself, though he said it can also be useful to make the same list with a partner, so that you have a check in together:
Above all else, this ritual should be empowering and relaxing. It works with school work, household duties, work-related tasks, and anything you’ve been putting off. They say success depends upon previous preparation and I think Sunday evening is a great time to prepare.