How did I start?
It all started in team meeting when a colleague ran up to me and showed me an article called ‘Get Shit Done Sunday’ and said – “you need to do this”.
Ok, so I admit my first reaction was to ever so slightly (read – outrageously dramatically), raise an eyebrow and scoff. I don’t need this. I am a genuine get shit done person. That is my thing! But after some gentle insistence from Sally (along the lines of “you are going to do this“), I agreed that I would be the mwah. Guinea Pig for the ‘Get Shit Done Sunday’ challenge.
If you missed it, Getting Shit Done Sunday…A Guide to Preparing for Your Week Ahead was published in Generation Y by Ryan Gibson. You can read it here.
Ryan’s tough love advice to Gen Y’s looking to make a positive change and advance their career is to use Sunday’s ‘properly’ and to start the week ahead with a bang. How I hear you ask? Here is Ryan’s formula;
- Exercise – start your Sunday with a workout and feel great to you have started your exercise routine before the week has even ‘technically’ begun.
- Food Prep – pre-prepare healthy food on a Sunday to help you eat better all week. Boiling eggs on Sunday night can save you a few shameful trips to the communal kitchen biscuit jar.
- Research and scheduling – spend a dedicated hour reading and researching new ideas and thoughts to give you a fresh perspective on the week ahead.
- Health and wellbeing – No more late afternoon boozy lunches on a Sunday. Start the week eating well, not drinking and getting a great night’s sleep.
So how did I go on my first Get Shit Done Sunday?
I don’t mean to brag, but I totally nailed all four parts of the formula. And because I like to do things a (little) better than most, I added a fifth component into the mix. Here is the run down…
Exercise – I started the day with a 5k walk with my husband and dog at the RSPCA Million Paws Walk. A great morning out in the fresh air and sun, with thousands of cute puppies and their dog nut owners (yes, I am a proud member of this tribe).
Food prep – I boiled eggs, cut up carrot sticks, made vegan protein balls and even had a few soup lunches in the fridge ready to go.
Research and scheduling – Between 6pm and 7pm, I sat on the couch and completely focussed on reading and researching. I devoured a heap of blog posts, booked in for a few talks and downloaded an innovation podcast series for my bus rides to work.
Health and wellbeing – A healthy dinner, no traditional Sunday night glass (or 2… or 3) of red wine. I was showered and properly in bed (i.e. not in bed scrolling through Instagram) by 9.30pm.
The sneaky addition – The housekeeping stuff. I ironed my clothes for the week, did a dry cleaner run, my washing, and even put fresh sheets on the bed. Yep. My Type A personality was in full swing.
So how did I feel on Sunday?
A little smug, a little calmer, and to be honest, a little ripped off. Sunday is ‘my day’, and I didn’t love that I had to be ‘on’ for the day. Realistically, I would do most of this stuff on a normal Sunday, but something about ‘having’ to do all of these admin things, without the usual fun of lazy mornings in bed and a few cheeky red wines, took away from my usual carefree end of the weekend feeling.
So, has my work on Get Shit Done Sunday made a difference?
Yes. It has helped in a number of small little ways that have made my week better.
Each morning since Sunday, I avoided the tempting ‘snooze’ button on my alarm, and have put another ten minutes onto my morning dog walk. I subconsciously don’t want to ‘break’ my good start to the week.
I have been enjoying my thoughtfully prepared snacks and the innovation podcast has given me some new ideas. I am also pretty feeling good about my pre-ironed wardrobe – this has made my morning mental scan of what to wear to work easy. And because this mental scan usually happens in the shower (come on, we all do our best thinking in the shower!), I have really been enjoying this time to mentally wonder off into non-logistical places…. I think I am just two showers away now from solving World Peace and working out what actually happened at the end of the movie Inception.
I admit it. The Get Shit Done Sunday challenge was actually pretty good.
Realistically, the approach is barely revolutionary. Preparing for the week ahead is not exactly the next breakthrough thinking, nor is it the silver bullet that will turn everyone into a finely tuned, super organised, performance machine (at least not me).
What I did find though, was that my mindset for the week has been really focussed and positive. The energy I often use to scramble around has been better deployed into things I actually like and that add value to me. I have more headspace to think and reflect. I feel good from exercising and eating well (crazy, I know).
In short. I think Get Shit Done Sunday can stay. With the exception of my sneaky addition – ironing is way too painful to do on a Sunday night. This can be done on Monday night instead (this is probably why clever Ryan didn’t suggest it in the first place).
Oh and one other (small) exception – there will need to be a couple of glasses of red wine to end Sunday right. But I promise, i’ll eat some veggies while I drink them.