Dr Perpetua Neo
Hello, Sunday Bedrock

Peak Performance Strategy: Sunday Scaries No More

[This DrP article was first published on NextEvolutionPerformance]

For the bulk of my life, I lived with the Sunday Scaries. I thought I was alone. With my mental ball-and-chain, I dragged my feet into Miserable Mondays, whether as a student or an adult. Luckily, that’s history.

Sundays have now been reclaimed; Mondays are now Marvellous Mondays. All as a result of intentional design. And if you identify with peak performer, high performer, Type A, perfectionist, high standards. . chances are you will have a case of the Sunday Scaries.

Spending time to buy back more time (and everything awesome!)

One key DrP principle is ‘spending time to buy back more time’.

Or, what my mentor Ramit Sethi calls frontloading— that extra work you invest in strategically beforehand, so you glide.

It’s a lot wiser than simply charging forward mindlessly, tiring ourselves out, and then having to undo unwise decisions. That’s time and energy burnt, that you can never recover.

Sundays, therefore, are the perfect time to establish the bedrock for the week ahead.

Think about it this way:— you can have meaningless Sundays where you sulk about in fear, or choose to create something good. In everything you do, you ultimately have a choice.

The basics

The principle being, when you chunk easy-enough tasks, you don’t waste time switching from one to another. And when you finish an entire batch, that endorphin rush can be priceless.

Two basics I encourage all my clients to do are (1) Meal Prep and (2) Wardrobe Planning. There’s your basic nutrition taken care for the week, so you nourish and energise your body. And, you don’t waste time faffing around daily over what to wear— in the mornings, time always seems to disappear into a black hole, but now it’s no longer a problem.

The trick here is to give yourself a time limit for each activity, by setting an alarm.

New to the world of meal prep? I love The Kitchn’s Power Hour.

Or, does cooking deplete your battery? See who or what you can outsource that to.

Where do those Scary Miserable Stories come from?

As human beings, we remember stories, not facts. Stories have the power to run our lives, if we’re not aware. Such as my Sunday Scaries one. My father had a stressful job as a CFO. My earliest memory of Saturday evening, after we’d had a fabulous dinner together, was him uttering “The weekend is over”.

This story seeped deep into my unconscious. So before I even went to preschool, I learned to dread Sundays.

Uncovering it helped me to consciously build a new muscle, to create Super Sundays.

That story about Sunday Scaries? It became flabby blubber I consciously applied mental liposuction to.


Take thirty minutes to consider your week ahead:—

  • Goals: What do I want to accomplish?
  • Intentions: How do I want to feel?

Design an overarching strategy for how you’ll execute your week.

But I know, the list of tasks always stacks up.

Source: Ness Labs

Here’s where I love how the Eisenhower Matrix helps prioritise tasks. Based on the urgency and importance, you decide what you want to do, delegate, schedule or eliminate.

In your strategy, make sure you’re actively energising yourself, across different domains. They can be socially, intellectually, physically, or spiritually, depending on what your values are.

Two questions you can ask are:—

  • What can I add, that nourishes me?
  • What can I subtract, that depletes me?

2023 Update

I wrote this piece back in January 2020. These days, I’ve moved 90% of my Sunday Tasks to Thursday. That feels even better.

Here’s wishing you a glorious week ahead.

If you’d like to build rituals that support your growth to the next level so you can be a peak performer, book your free Chemistry Call here to chat about a signature 8-week program that’s tailored to your lifestyle, values and personality.