By Kia Jarmon of MEPR Agency for 12th & Broad
It’s exciting to start a new month on a Sunday. It allows you to reset without the pressure of the workday; the phone ringing, the constant ding of email alerts, or the overwhelming need to check everything off of your to-do list that happens on a weekday.
Growing up, my Sunday evenings consisted of ironing all my clothes for the week, finishing homework that was due during the week, and the dreaded cleaning of whatever was left not done on Saturday. But somehow as we slammed into adulthood we abandoned our Sunday evening rituals.
If I didn’t use Sunday to outline my week I found that my productivity took a huge hit, something was off. I was in a constant state of rush, panic even. Because I have come to the agreement with myself that I am never done but just at a stopping point, I needed that extra day or really just some extra time.
While I have worked on Sundays for years, I never calculated the time or its accuracy. I just knew it worked. So, I challenged myself to see what I could get done in two hours. Honestly, this should happen after your Sunday nap but really needs to happen before your evening shows begin.
So what did I spend my two (uninterrupted) hours on?
Cleaning my email. I have a rule that I can’t accept a date on my calendar until I write it in my physical planner. I spent time confirming dates, placing them on my calendar and sending follow-up emails. I also unsubscribed from some lists, deleted and/or junked other emails, and placed some in their proper folders.
Invoicing. This is a dreaded task for me. I have it somewhat automated but I still have to put in the updated dates, check for accuracy, and send to clients. It honestly doesn’t take that long it is just one of those processes that I can easily get sidetracked from. I gave myself 15 or so minutes and knocked it out.
Mapping out my calendar. As I stated earlier, I use a physical calendar. So this was a good time for me to make sure I have enough office hours, that I have set aside the time for my workouts, and so that I can end my day between 4 & 4:30pm to pick up my son. Planning it essential but it is hard to plan in the middle of the week. People are so much more forgiving if you have to make a change, if it can happen before the week begins.
Writing proposals. Again, another task that requires so much accuracy and attention and the week pushes this task further and further down the to-do list. I use templates (I created) for most of the content but customize for each prospective client. I was able to place some proposals in draft email and I checked them again on Monday before pressing send.
I left my desk with this ‘she’s a superwoman’ type theme music playing in my head. As I got to my desk on Monday more than anything my mental clarity was better. But I also started with a clean slate (and cleaner desk).
You probably grew up knowing that Sunday was the first day of the week. So why did we forget? Being an adult has a way of making us forget all of the dreaded ways our parents worked to make us better people. I now appreciate it.
Oh, and for those who want to understand how working on Sunday’s affects your brand. After you have tried my challenge, try not working on the following Sunday and just see the difference. From this point on, don’t let rushing, being late, and missing important deadlines cause you to fail on the brand you have worked so hard for.
Cheers to being a kid—well, kinda— again!