If you’re constantly feeling unprepared for class on Monday mornings and the week ahead, then your Sunday routine may need some revamping.
Don’t worry though. You’re not the only one.
I spent several mornings of my freshman year beating myself up on Monday mornings because I was unprepared for class. You could find me rushing around my dorm in a frenzy as I stuffed homework (done last minute) in my bag.
Each time I found myself in that situation, my mind always thought of Sunday and how I wish I spent Sunday better. There was always a list of things I “should of” and “could of” done.
In time, I turned those “should ofs” and “could ofs” into Sunday habits that transformed me from a panicked, unproductive student into a productive successful college student. (These habits were a huge part of why I consistently made straight A’s every semester.)
If you want a better Monday morning and dramatically increase your productivity each week, then check out my 11 best Sunday habits for student success below:
Sunday Habit 1: Start Your Sunday Early
If you’re like me, on Sunday, you have a long list of things that have to get done: grocery shopping, meal-prepping, chores, and homework.
If you sleep in on Sunday, however, you may only get half of the things on your list done. Grocery shopping and meal-prepping started later in the day, often takes twice as long because grocery stores are usually packed with people in their Sunday Best coming from church. There are also tons of other shoppers who are shopping for the week.
Laundry mats are also packed on Sundays with students who are all trying to get their laundry done for the week. If you find yourself in this situation, you can expect to be set back two hours because of the crowd.
For this reason, getting in the habit of waking up early on Sunday Morning is extremely important. When you wake up early, you can get all your important chores and errands out of the way by 12 or by early afternoon and have the rest of the day to spend it as you please.
In college, I always made the effort to get in bed by 12 am on Saturday night so I could be up on Sunday at 8 am to start my day.
Bonus tip: Avoid doing your laundry on Sunday altogether and find a time during the week to do it to avoid the student traffic and free up your Sunday. According to statistical data collected by SUNY, Friday mornings, between the hours of 10 and 11 am, is the best time to do laundry.
Sunday Habit 2: Have a Power Breakfast
Do you enjoy eating pancakes, waffles, or sugary cereals for breakfast? Well, I highly recommend that you avoid these breakfast foods like the plague on Sundays and get into the habit of eating a wholesome “power breakfast” instead.
I totally made up the word “power breakfast” but what it means is this: any breakfast foods that will give you a lot of fiber and energy for the day and nothing that would put you into a sleep coma.
Great power breakfast meals include:
- oatmeal (as long as you don’t make it too sugary)
- green or fruit smoothies
- protein breakfast smoothies
- avocado toast, and
- breakfast burritos.
Having meals like these for breakfast will help you stay energized all morning and well into the day as you work to complete your morning chores, run errands, or study if you decide to study first.
Sunday Habit 3: Go Grocery Shopping for the week
Going grocery shopping can take up a lot of time. Even if you make a list of all the things you are going to buy at the grocery store, you still have to get dressed (you can’t go to the store in your pajamas), drive, walk down all the aisles to get all your items, stand in-line, pack your car up or walk (I walked all four years of college), drive home, and unpack your groceries.
And if you’re like me, you’ll spend the next hour at home preparing a meal to eat because grocery shopping can make you hungry.
In total, you can easily spend 2-3 hours on this one activity. And if you do this during the week, that’s 3 hours that you are not studying for class.
That’s why going grocery shopping on Sunday is another Sunday habit you should adopt. Buying all the groceries you need for the week will free up the time you need during the week to do homework, study, and take part in extracurricular activities.
I strongly recommend that you go shopping as early as you can on Sunday Morning as Sundays are one of the busiest days to go grocery shopping (with Saturdays taking the lead). That way you can get in and out, and on to more important activities on your list.
Bonus tip: Google your local grocery store for the least busy time to shop on Sundays so you can avoid the traffic.
At my local grocery store, the store starts to get some real traffic around 9 am, is the busiest by 2 pm, and start to die down after 7 pm. This works out fine since I’m up by 8 am and can make a quick dash to the store and get most of my shopping done before it gets really busy at 9.
Sunday Habit 4: Meal-prep for the week
Now, I don’t think I need to convince you about why meal-prepping on Sunday is a great habit to adopt but if you’re not doing this already, make this one of your Sunday habits!
Cooking is incredibly time-consuming. You have to think about what your cooking, cook it, and spend 30 minutes or more recovering the kitchen. And if you don’t cook the right meal (a meal that will last you several days), you can get stuck cooking every day and take away time you could be studying.
Plus, cooking can be a huge energy sucker and kill your productivity later when you finally sit down to study. But because meal-prepping can be a huge energy sucker, I recommend that you meal-prep in the morning so that way you have time to rest before you study or start on homework.
Want some quick and easy recipe ideas for the week? These were my go-to recipes when I was in college:
- three bean chili
- black bean soup
- spaghetti with eggplant parmesan
- Rice and curried chickpeas with sweet potato
- Rice with sweet and sour tofu
If you’re wondering, yes I was vegan in college lol.
If you decide to meal-prep, get these awesome meal prep containers so you can divide up your meals for each day and/or take your food to class with you. You can get a 15-pack of meal-prep containers for just 80 cents apiece on Amazon!
Sunday Habit 5: Do Your Household Chores
Like cooking, you also don’t want to be stuck doing chores during the week. Specifically, heavy chores like cleaning your shower or doing your laundry.
They can be huge energy suckers, depending upon the activity, and take up a bunch of time away from your homework or studies.
Get in the habit of doing your heaviest chores every Sunday so that way the work remains light and can be done in a fairly quick manner.
Here what that could look like:
If you clean the shower every week, it may only take you 10 minutes to clean since it was cleaned just the week before.
If you clean the shower every 6 weeks, however, it may take you 30 minutes or more to do get it done. I could imagine that you’ll need to soak the shower floor and walls in bleach for 10 minutes before you can clean it.
Me: When I lived in the dorms, doing my household chores took me no more than an hour to do since I was in the habit of doing them every single week.
If you live in a dorm room, try to make this your goal too so that way you have time to study or go out with friends.
Sunday Habit 6: Take a Mid-day Nap
If you adopt Sunday habits 1-5 and you plan on doing some studying or homework later, then I recommend you take a midday nap.
As I shared above, doing chores and cooking are big energy suckers and can cause you to have trouble focusing on your studies if you jump into your work right after.
For this reason, I recommend that you take mid-day nap for at least 30 min-1 hour. Napping will help you feel more refreshed and ready to focus on your studies.
Sunday Habit 7: Do Your Homework/Study
Do you have an assignment due on Monday? Do you have some readings that you have to do before class? Well, Sunday is the best day to do it! You have one whole day to do homework and study without the interruption of lectures and emails from Professors.
They are also virtually no club meet-ups or events on this day, so Sunday is the perfect day to get ahead on the week.
I recommend that you block out at least four hours on Sunday to get some homework done.
Sunday Habit 8: Do a Self-Care Activity or Spend a Couple Hours Out With Friends
Have some time on your hands or just want to take a break from your studies? Sunday is the perfect day to do a self-care activity or spend a couple of hours with friends.
Some great self-care ideas include:
- getting your eye-brows done
- doing your hair/getting your hair done
- painting your nails
- having a facial
- reading the bible
- reading your favorite book
- playing video games (if you’re into that)
- going for a walk
Some great outing ideas with friends:
- shopping or window shopping
- taking pictures at your favorite location
- going to the gym together
- grabbing lunch together
- visiting your local farmer’s market and enjoying delicious samples
- going to your friend’s place to talk and catch up (a different environment alone can be so refreshing).
As a college student, it is so easy to get cooped up in the dorm during the week and on the weekends doing homework and studying. Staying inside week in and week out can make anyone go mad or fall into depression. For this reason, make sure you protect your mental health by taking some time on the weekend for self-care.
Most successful college students use their Sundays to do homework and study for exams, but they also know when to step away and take a break if they feel like they are burning out.
Sunday Habit 9: Plan for The Week
This habit is what most successful college students do every Sunday to ensure that they have a productive week and will help you have a productive week if you do this too.
Take the time to review your syllabus and any emails you might have received from your Professors to get an overview of your next week’s assignments and exams.
Then, in your planner, write down in the order of priority what you’ll need to do each day to meet your deadlines.
Also, check your school’s calendar, your student organization’s calendar, and/or any other calendar that is integral to your life, for important events or meetings that are taking place that week.
Knowing what’s coming up will help you organize and prioritize your day so you don’t miss a deadline, blow an important event, or compromise in getting the most important school activity done (studying).
Sunday Habit 10: Pack Your Bag Before Bed
Don’t you hate it when you walk into class Monday morning and find that you left your notebook or homework at home?
There’s rarely enough time to go back home and get it. And if you have something due on that day, the discovery becomes your worst nightmare.
Instead, get in the habit of packing your bag the Sunday night before. That way you have the peace of mind that everything that needs to be in your bag is there when you sit down for class on Monday.
You’ll also significantly cut down how much time you spend getting ready in the morning and avoid a dramatic, rushy morning.
Even if you are attending class virtually, it is still a good idea to gather your most important materials for class and set them aside for the next day. That way, when your lecture begins, you’re ready to learn and not preoccupied tearing your room down for your notebook.
Sunday Habit 11: Reward Yourself With Screen Time
Most successful students (particularly the ones with perfect or near-perfect GPAs) limit their screen time during the week to maximize the time they can dedicate to homework and exam prep.
Nevertheless, we’re all human, right? And even the best of us needs an outlet to destress. That’s where screen time comes in!
Sunday is the perfect day to have screen time, particularly after a long day of doing chores and studying.
Rewarding yourself with screen time on the condition that you get your work done first, is also an awesome way to motivate yourself and make sure your important Sunday chores and assignment actually get done.
In college, when I made screen time my conditional reward at the end of every Sunday, I was 10x more efficient with my time, was super productive, and almost always got everything done by the end of the day.
Make the habit of rewarding yourself with screen time so you get everything that you want done too!
Sunday Habit 12: Read The Bible or Do An Activity That Encourages Your Spirit
One of the last things that you should do on Sunday is read the bible, a devotional, or something that encourages your spirit.
College is hard work.
You are often faced with challenges and obstacles that you must overcome both academically and socially, and it can take a hit to your self-esteem if you are not consistently reminding yourself that “I am enough,” “I can do this,” and “Everything is going to work out if I believe and work hard.”
To maintain a healthy self-esteem and make sure that you are always in the game, ready to conquer the next week, take some time out to encourage or renew your spirit.
To encourage my spirit, I like to read God’s promises:
- “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
- “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7.
- “He can do exceedingly abundantly above all that we may ask or think…” Ephesians 3:20
- “For I know that plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “Plans to prosper and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.
And when I just want a quick devotional to read, I read Jesus’ Calling by Sarah Young.
If you are not a Christian, there are still other ways you can encourage your spirit.
You can watch a motivational video on YouTube, listen to an inspiring podcast, and read motivational quotes from inspirational leaders of today and times past.
Taking just ten minutes to renew your mind on some encouraging words before bed can really make a difference in your life and give you the confidence you need to conquer the week.
Want more tips on how to increase your productivity and improve your day? Check out my post, Morning Routine for College Students: 9 Things Before 9 AM. Under No. 5, I share five of the best motivational videos on YouTube that you can consume in 5 minutes or less. Check out what these videos are here.
P.S. Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? If not, sign up here! Once a week, I send the BEST stuff on all things college like college relationships, how to get A’s, and even make funny post like this one so we can both have a good laugh! Just think of me as your go-to-girlfriend for college advice!