Search
Advice » In the Workplace» Work-Life Balance » Prepare for the Workweek
Prepare for the Workweek

Prepare for the Workweek

10 Things You Can Do to Make It Better for You and Your Family

On one of the last episodes of “Seinfeld,” the main characters are stuck in traffic on a Sunday night. Galpal Elaine, who desperately wants to get home, wails, “All I know is that it's Sunday night, and I have got to unwind! Now, who's with me?”

If perpetually single Elaine felt that way, you can imagine how the rest of us -- especially workers with families -- cope on Sundays. But while some have their own ways to decompress before the workweek starts (Elaine watched “60 Minutes”), others spend Sunday nights either worrying about the upcoming week or trying not to think about it at all.

There are better ways to prepare.

“It all goes back to choices, and a lot of people choose to go the negative route,” says Joel Zeff, author of Make the Right Choice: Creating a Positive, Innovative and Productive Work Life. “Why not go the [positive] way? It’s less stressful.”

And while you may think planning is a drag, the truth is that the more you plan your life, the more you reduce your stress and increase your sense of control, says Steve Prentice, president of professional education firm Bristall Morgan and author of Cool Time: A Hands-On Plan for Managing Work and Balancing Time. “I always say that planning gives you the freedom to be spontaneous,” he adds. “Preparing for work is an investment in your long-term health.”

So how do you effectively prepare yourself and your family for the workweek? Follow these 10 tips from Zeff and Prentice:

1. Prepare to Be Happy

Happiness is a choice, Zeff says. “On Sunday, if you’re thinking about that manager or customer, you’re letting that customer choose your happiness,” he points out. “You’ve got to take the choice back. Choose to be happy, passionate and organized, and what you want to accomplish will happen.”

So how do you -- and your family -- avoid lying awake Sunday night fretting? According to Prentice, write out what’s bugging you. “In so doing, you can solve your own problems,” he says.

2. Know What You’ll Eat

This includes both at-work meals and what you’ll eat for dinner. Make a meal plan with your significant other, and get what you’ll need to prepare each meal. “The mental energy you’re spending at 3 p.m. wondering what you’ll have for dinner can be used for work,” Prentice says.

3. Plan Your Commute Practically

Figure out how long it’s really going to take. “If you’re realistic as to what your pillow-to-desk time is, you’ll reduce your stress along the way,” Prentice notes. And once driving to work, Prentice recommends staying in the right lane for the fastest commute.

4. Get Up 15 Minutes Earlier

Use the extra time to have a comfortable, relaxed breakfast, rather than “running out the door with a Pop-Tart in your mouth,” Prentice says. “The more you can start the day comfortably, the better you can handle stress.”

5. Write It Down

Always forgetting your cell phone or wallet when you leave for work? Make a list of items you regularly take with you and put it on your car’s visor, Prentice recommends. Another handy tool: A visual calendar for the fridge, which lets everyone know where everyone else is and what they’re doing.

6. Do What’s Important First

The hours of 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. are often the most productive, Prentice says. “Be ready to defend the morning strenuously from meetings and email, so you can get the most important work of the day done,” he suggests.

7. Be Ready to Ask for What You Need

Everyone needs something from work, whether it be the chance to be more creative, the opportunity to manage, more support, higher pay or anything else. “You need to figure out what you need to be happy,” Zeff says. “If you’re not getting it, you’re going to be physically there but mentally not. Stand up and say you need opportunity and positive support.”

8. Ask How You Can Help

At the same time, instead of just asking what others can do for you, think about what you can do for others. “When you help your customers, colleagues and partners, it will come back to you tenfold,” Zeff says.

9. Stop Whining

This is an energy-drainer, so make up your mind not to do it. “Does it help you?” Zeff asks. “It does nothing and just builds stress.”

10. Accept the Upcoming Week Will Contain Change

This constant in business and in life often is a source of stress. “When you’re open and flexible to change, you reduce stress, and the passion starts coming up, which means you’re more productive and effective,” Zeff says.

Articles in This Feature:

Latest Jobs

Neopost
Posted: 08/21/2014
Milford, CT, 06461
Tractor Supply Company
Posted: 08/21/2014
Pikeville, KY, 41501
Tractor Supply Company
Posted: 08/21/2014
Morgantown, WV, 26508
Tractor Supply Company
Posted: 08/21/2014
Marietta, OH, 45750
Tractor Supply Company
Posted: 08/21/2014
Clio, MI, 48420

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.4.35.44-319
eTrustLogo