There’s no denying that the work week is stressful. It doesn’t matter how much you love your job, boss, or coworkers—there are still a thousand small ways to feel flustered and frantic Monday through Friday. But as we’re all aware, there are only so many hours in the day. And there seems to be even less time at our disposal once we hit the ground running on Monday morning.

Sadly, we can’t magically create extra hours on that one Wednesday where we have three meetings, a doctors appointment, and happy hour scheduled. But what we can do is use a few of those free weekend hours to prep for the work week, so we’re more prepared than panicked.

featured image by nicole ramsay for camille styles

photo from urban outfitters

1. Step away from screens

You spend all week glued to your computer, phone, and tablet. It’s all part of the job. But that means when Friday night rolls around, you need to step away from the screens. Especially the ones you hold close to your face. Not only is it good for your eyes, you’ll feel more refreshed come Monday if you didn’t spend your weekend doing the same activities you do at work. So when Friday finally arrives, try to plan some fun, tech free activities that will give your poor eyes a break.

photo from the cool hour

2. Rise and shine

Is there anything more satisfying than sleeping in after a long week of work? No. But is there anything worse than when that alarm goes off on Monday morning? Also no. Which is why it’s best to wake up at the same time every day. Yes, even on the weekends. In fact, if you have to choose between staying up late or getting up early to finish some work, study, or do chores, you’re better off staying up late and keeping your wakeup time consistent. (Which works great for girls’ night out!)

photo from free people

3. Stretch it out

Now that you’re up nice and early, it’s time to bust out your yoga mat. When you sit at a desk, typing furiously for eight hours a day, your posture isn’t ideal. Which explains why your back and neck can hurt so badly after a long day at the office. While it would definitely be ideal to make it to a relaxing yoga class every night after work, that’s not really realistic for most of us. Luckily, the weekends are the perfect time to unwind and give your muscles a stretch. You don’t even have to go to a class — you can find plenty of really great yoga classes here if you prefer to find your zen in the comfort of your own home. There are even poses designed to help counteract the damage of sitting at a desk all day.

photo from the cook’s atelier

4. Prep chef

While it’s pretty difficult to meal prep for an entire week, lunch is where you should start. Why lunch? Because not having a lunch plan can really mess with your work day. It’s pretty simple to throw together a bowl of oatmeal, a smoothie, or some nut butter toast for a quick and healthy breakfast before work. But if you find yourself without a healthy lunch at the ready, there’s a good chance you’ll have to eat some sort of fast-food, scrounge in the break room, or on busy days skip lunch all together. And no one likes a hangry coworker. Every Sunday, pull together some kind of lunch that is either completely prepped or easy to throw together before work. One hour of cooking on Sunday will save you five days of frantic mornings!

photo by nicole ramsay

5. Hot off the press

There’s a good chance your closet is brimming full of perfectly nice clothes, yet they seem impossible to find in the 10 minutes you have to get dressed in the morning. And even if you create the perfect outfit, suddenly you can’t seem to find the camisole that needs to go with it or you discover the dress you were going to wear is covered in wrinkles. Disappointing and beyond stressful, especially since our outfits can give us a much needed confidence boost at work.

Just like it’s easier to answer all those emails in one go, prepping your wardrobe for the week is faster if you do it all together. Glance at the weather and your agenda for the week (which will also remind you of any important appointments or meetings) and then pick out the five outfits you’re most likely to wear that week. Give them a quick steam (way faster than using an iron) and find the accessories you’ll need (think: tights without a run in them) and hang them in the front of your closet. Your 6 am self will thank you.

What do you do on the weekends to set yourself up for a successful week?

Read more inspiring Work Life stories here!

10 comments
  1. 1
    Bunny | January 22, 2018 at 5:40 am

    Great advice. Thanks

    Reply
  2. 2
    Ryann Carter | January 22, 2018 at 7:15 am

    I always try to balance my checkbook and fill out my planner and to do lists on Sundays. That way I’m aware of my finances and not worried I’ll bounce a check. I also mostly use my phone for scheduling but I love my Day Designer for day to day events with a daily to do list and motivational quote.
    http://www.holycitylife.com

    Reply
  3. 3
    Rena | January 22, 2018 at 7:48 am

    I think it is very wise to follow your tips! Thanks for sharing!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    http://www.dressedwithsoul.com

    Reply
  4. 4
    calliope | January 22, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    I prepare at least two whole dishes that will yield 2-3 days worth of meals, I get all my laundry done, I clean my house and if I also wash and cut veggies and fruits then I am really ahead of the game!

    Reply
  5. 5
    Eva | January 22, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    Wonderful tips! I would love to be off of my computer more, but I’ve made big changes to get myself off of my iPhone. That’s helped a lot with stress over the weekend. I also try to just allow myself to take off, which is hard when you work from home. You feel more compelled to respond to emails or do work tasks, so it’s a big success for me if I can just unwind.

    http://www.shessobright.com

    Reply
  6. 6
    Pitix2002 | January 23, 2018 at 4:48 am

    I try to stay away from any electronic device on weekends. this means phone, tablet, computers… just some TV watching is all I do when relaxing on the couch to watch a movie or something. Staying away from social media is so refreshing on weekends! I usually wake up early, do all kind of grocery and farmers market shopping on saturday (this is when they set the farmers market where I live). I also try to do all my house choires (laundry, tiding up, sheet change…) on Saturday morning and this totally doable by waking up at a decent hour! LOL.
    Sundays are my meal prep day. I set some nice enviroment in the kitchn with music and maybe some coffee, tea or even wine (depending on the hour I do it) and relax while preparing food to have in the fridge ready for the following week. Bread baking also.
    This is how I usually organize my weekends to get a more easy going week. And it totally works for me!
    About meal prep … I have to say I just love my time in the kitchen, so I don’t consider it a task… it’s more like a relaxing time for me 🙂

    Reply
    • Pitix2002 | January 23, 2018 at 4:50 am

      I forgot to add.. I try to walk where ever I have to go to. Forget about the car whenever is possible!

      Reply
  7. 7
    Meg | January 28, 2018 at 6:01 am

    I love the idea of picking out clothes before the week even starts and the meal prep. I’m not great at planning or cooking so this would give me the time to flesh out the harder things before I become inundated with work. I really need to start putting these tips into action and I hope I can stick to it long-term.

    Meg

    Reply
  8. 8
    Jennifer B. | February 19, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    Love the seated figure four and shoulder stretch. . .definitely need that!

    Reply
  9. 9
    Natalie | March 19, 2018 at 7:09 am

    Definitely need to do some more bulk cooking at weekends.

    http://www.upyourvlog.com

    Reply
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