Most people think of the weekend as, well, the end of the week – a time to unwind from the workweek and have fun. While I totally agree, one of the best ways to master your week is to think of Sunday as the first day of the next week.
Take your Sunday (or Saturday- whatever works for you) as a chance to plan your week in advance and you’ll set yourself up for a more productive and less overwhelming week.
My parents thought me this principle and I’ve been doing it since I was a child (in one way or the other) but recently I discovered the term GYST day aka “get your sh*t together” day that was created by the YouTuber, Kalyn Nicholson. So I’ve decided this is a great opportunity to share these extremely helpful tips with you.
We don’t always have a whole day each week to dedicate to getting our lives together. That’s life. And that’s ok. Lately, I’ve been dividing my GYST time into a couple of hours on Friday and a couple on Saturday (Sunday is a working day here in Israel). Managing to get all major things in while still meeting up with friends, catching up on work etc.
Because it’s so important to me, I even plan my GYST hours in advance. Make it a goal to find a couple of hours every weekend to get at least some of this done.
I know most of you would rather spend your Sunday binge-watching on Netflix but taking a day (or half a day) a week to GYST will help you feel less overwhelmed, more empowered and ready to conquer the week. Trust me, this little mindset change will make such a significant difference in your week and it’s so easy to do!
Each GYST day can be different but they all have the same principles: Maintenance (tasks, cleaning, de-cluttering), Prepping (schedule, goals, clothes, meals etc.) and Self-Care (exercise, facial masks, relax and reset).
Here are some super easy and effective ways you can Get Your Sh*t Together and feel like you’re on top of the world even if you’re just doing the dishes:
Related reading: Ultimate morning ritual that will immediately improve your day
So first thing on my GYST to-do list is cleaning my house. As someone with a little O.C.D (borderline not so little O.C.D) clutter makes me a little anxious. There is nothing worse than coming home to a messy house after a long day at work when all you want to do is to put your feet up and NOT do the dishes.
I clean up, do the laundry, wash dishes, clean out the fridge and closet (not every week), clean up my purse (It’s crazy how much stuff can accumulate in one tiny bag), tidy up and change my sheets so when I’m all done with my GYST I’ll have a clean, fresh bed to crawl into.
I usually take advantage of the weekend to go through e-mails I have (not work e-mails) or social media messages I haven’t answered, screenshots I took but did nothing with, unlink saved link, etc.
I try to finish all my adulting tasks during my GYST time so they won’t bother me during the week – pay my bills, fix a broken light and even water my plants.
When it comes to having a more productive week, this is THE gist. Seriously. Your calendar is literally your BFF when you’re mastering the world of time-management and productivity and well, basically life.
I always take the time to plan my week in advance because I feel like if I don’t master my schedule it will master me. I personally use my Gmail calendar because it’s synchronized with my work one (you can’t really have a good work-life balance if you have a separate work and life calendars) but a planner works here just as well.
When I do this, I have my goals in mind. I go over my monthly and weekly goal and make sure to schedule in all related tasks (working out 3 times a week, writing a blog post etc.) And by using different colors for different tasks (yellow for personal, red for work, green for family and friends) I see how much time during the week I have scheduled for each and prioritize accordingly.
Related article: The ultimate guide to goal setting (and how to actually achieve them in 2019)
After having figured out how my week is going to look like I usually write down a to-do list for the week. All the things I want to accomplish goes on there and also regular things like pick up milk or go to the post office.
By writing things down you will have a better picture of what needs to be accomplished and set your priorities easily.
My to-do list is also categorized by things for “today”, “tomorrow” and later. For this, I use any.do and Keep apps but there are tons of good ones out there so you can find what’s right for you. And obviously – pen&paper, old school style, is awesome (Raise your hand if you’re a post-it lover like me!)
Ok, I always get a wired look when I tell people I do this but you won’t believe the amount of time I used to waste in the morning trying to decide what to wear that day. Ending up being late, wrinkly, pissed off and with a huge pile clothes on my bed. You can relate, right?
I know that certain days we have a certain mood for certain outfits (do you also feel this way??) but you won’t believe how much time and headache this will save you! No to mention no more wondering whether you wore something similar two days before or not.
So the first thing I do is I look at my already planned week and see what I have planned. On days I have important meetings I like to dress up a bit and on off days I’ll go for the more casual look. Also, if I know I have a date or a girls night out planned right after work I will pick something that goes well from day-look to night-look.
Secondly, I check the weather. Extremely important where I live – It can be super sunny (flip flops and T kind of weather) one day and pouring raining the next.
After I lay down all the choices I have and match events with the weather I choose all my outfits plus iron if necessary. You can still be flexible and change things up but this method will most likely save you a lot of time and nerves and will make getting ready in the morning much easier and more efficient.
Related: 15 easy ways to become a morning person
One other major life (and time) saver is meal prep. My week is usually crazy busy and on some days I leave the house early in the morning and come back late at night.
So Instead of finding myself stuck without the proper ingredients and no time or power to cook during the week, ending up having a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner days in a row or spending money and perfectly good calories on junk food I prefer to plan ahead.
Also, if you’re anything like me, and find joy in thinking about your next meal (and the one after that and the one after that…. You get my point) this tip is defiantly for you!
I usually think in advance about my meals for the week and buy all the necessary ingredients plus some fruits, snacks, and nuts to snack on during the week. This will also cause you to spend less money and waste much less food because you only buy and cook what you need for this week.
Then I prepare the major stuff in advance – cook some dish just to reheat it later or just prepare the ingredients like cook quinoa or rice, wash my fruits and veggie snack and already place them in separate bags for each day (thanks for the tip mama!) and even hard boil eggs in advance sometimes.
Pinterest is a great source of inspiration for meal prep recipes and ideas for all kinds of diet/food restrictions.
This is the time for your don’t-have-time-during-the-week beauty routine – everything from facial masks, doing your nails, shaving your legs… Whatever makes you feel like you again. Taking the time for my weekly beauty self-care makes me feel refreshed, more put together and more confident to tackle the week to come.
Take the time to refresh, relax and recharge for the week to come. Do whatever makes you feel good and relaxed. Self-care and downtime are the most important things for your productivity during the week. I know, it sounds counter-intuitive but you can’t speed up the car if you don’t have fuel.
Relaxation can be achieved in so many ways. Do what works best for you – A little nap perhaps? Reading a chapter in a book? Meditating? or one of these 10 ways of self-care.
Just as it important to prepare physically and logistically for the week ahead it’s also important to prepare yourself mentally.
Allow yourself some reflecting time. Think of all that you’ve accomplished the past week and what would you want for yourself for the week to come. Think of what kind of “you” do you want to be – more patient, more assertive? What can you do better?
As I am a strong believer in mindset, I think this process of reflecting and setting an intention for the future will result in a more mentally prepared you. And NO, sitting and thinking is not a waste of time – it’s one of the most productive things you can do for yourself. Trust me.
As hard as it can be to drag yourself out sometimes, working out always makes me feel good, energized and accomplished. It doesn’t have to be much – even a walk to the park or a yoga class will do the trick. Remember – Sunday is the first day of the week so you already have a jump start to your week energies.
During the week it’s easy to “forget” about the people we care about the most. Sundays are a perfect time to spend with family (even if it’s just on the phone).
Catch up with your family and close friends, spend some quality time with them (quality time means no phones btw) and let their love fill you up with great energies for the week to come.
Sunday is a great opportunity for a cheat day, as treating yourself is crucial for your mental health. Let yourself indulge in your little guilty pleasure for some good vibes for the week to come.
I know that this may sound a bit odd to you – spending a whole day a week just getting your sh*t together, but you wouldn’t believe how much different this will do.
Once you plan your week and prepare yourself for the week, you’ll feel more confident, more calm and more in control. I think life can get so overwhelming sometimes so dedicating time for a more healthy mind and body will allow you to be more on top of things and face life more smoothly.
I would LOVE to hear some of your productivity tips so make sure to leave a comment and share your BEST tip for a super productive week! And of course, let me know how it goes if you give it a try.
My 3-step formula to increase productivity, reduce stress, and create more balance in a busy world.
Want to start your week with energy that will keep you focused and motivated to get more things done?
Hey! Love this article! Thanks for the tips 🙂 P.s in your de-clutter section I think the word “through” was auto corrected the throw, just thought I’d let you know!
It’s an amazing article. It provides all the information to use time in a productive way. Thanks for sharing the tips.
Mortuza, thanks so much for your comment! so happy to hear and really appreciate it!!!