A Cure for the Sunday Night Blues

It’s Sunday evening.

The weekend is coming to an end, so your attention starts to turn to Monday morning and the (gulp) monumental to-do list that will greet you.

Your mood begins to change, and a feeling of anxiety, even dread, starts to wash over you.

You’ve got a case of the Sunday Night Blues. (Yep, it’s a real thing. There’s even a full-fledged Wikipedia entry dedicated to it).

I want to help my clients avoid the SNB’s, so I examined what our typical Monday mornings are comprised of. One of the tasks I do for pretty much every client (as well as myself) is send out their weekly to-do list.

While this is an effective and well-established practice, I realized the anticipation of a new, seemingly endless, list of tasks would be sitting in their in-box was a big contributor to those Sunday Night Blues.

So I asked myself: if a looming list of to-do’s causes feelings of dread and helplessness,  what would evoke the opposite? Why not flip the switch?

I decided to create a Monday morning “got-done” list.  Seeing all they had accomplished in the past week would  provide my client with some positive reinforcement and motivate them to begin the work week feeling energized.

The “got-done” list also serves double-duty by including a high-level overview of the current week’s tasks (I publish a detailed, tactical version of to-do’s later in the day).

I keep the “got-done” list simple and straightforward by using the following structure;

What we accomplished last week:

  • task A
  • task B
  • task C

What’s on deck this week:

  • task A
  • task B
  • task C

Not only do my clients love to be reminded of the previous week’s wins,  but recapping what was just completed  provides continuity on our projects and helps us make sure nothing slips through the cracks.

My clients are even keeping their “got-done” list in mind throughout the week,  and will  make comments such as ” Can’t wait to see this on next week’s list”, or “Yeah! This Monday’s list is gonna be a long one!” A true testament to the fact that focusing on accomplishments is indeed a powerful motivator.

In the time since making the switch to weekly “got-done” lists, my clients report that they rarely experience the SNB’s. And if they do, knowing their Monday morning off on a positive note makes it so much easier to chase those Sunday Night Blues away.

Think that a “got-done” list might work for you? Give it a try and let me know!


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