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Why this CEO completely unplugs one day a week

Maren Kate Donovan, founder and CEO of ZirtualMaren Kate Donovan, founder and CEO of Zirtual
Maren Kate Donovan, founder and CEO of ZirtualPhotograph by J Carter Rinaldi

MPW Insider is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for: What is your Sunday routine? is written by Maren Kate Donovan, founder and CEO of Zirtual.

Time and time again, preparation has been linked to success. Establishing routines built on foresight helps prevent potentially debilitating, project-ruining hiccups. So, it’s no surprise that the people who are most prepared for the work week begin their routine before Monday.

For a smooth transition from the week’s end to the start of the next, I spend every Friday tying up loose ends from the current week. I pull together the notes I’ve taken throughout the week and make a list of any tasks that require a follow-up on Monday. I found that creating next week’s agenda while this week is still fresh in my mind is the most important habit to ensure a successful week.

Equally important, is mental rest. Completely switching gears to focus on hobbies, family, friends, pets, or anything not work-related helps prevent burnout. I take Saturday to disconnect from work and recharge my mind. Unless it’s urgent, I don’t email, take work calls, or hold meetings on Saturdays–it can wait. As the weekend comes to a close, I reserve Sunday night for review. I look over the notes I took on Friday, think about anything that may have come to mind over the weekend, and review my schedule for the upcoming week.

And lastly, I use the remainder of Sunday night to get my space in order and tidy up. I make it a point to organize my work bag and clean the house. Waking up to an organized, calm space makes the start of the week feel less chaotic. And it’s an easy way to feel more in control of the infamous daunting Monday.

Read all answers to the MPW Insider question: What is your Sunday routine?

Why this executive doesn’t believe in work-life balance by Kim Getty, president of Deutsch LA.

Ever wonder how successful people spend their weekends? by Shannon Schuyler, U.S. corporate responsibility leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Why this executive never works on the weekend by Liz Wiseman, president of Wiseman Group.

How this CEO recharges on the weekend by Perry Yeatman, CEO of Perry Yeatman Global Partners.

Why this entrepreneur uses meditation to start her work week by Lynn Jurich, CEO and co-founder of Sunrun.