It begins innocently enough, you have to take your son to soccer practice and your daughter to Girl Scouts. In between those activities you have to make dinner and pack lunches for the next day. One day during the week you have to work late, but you still don’t finish the presentation. It looks as if the chores and the final touches on the work presentation will have to wait until the weekend. No worries though, you have two full days to check off your growing list of to-dos.
However, when Saturday and Sunday roll around there is a soccer game you forgot about, a birthday party, and plenty of procrastination. By Sunday evening you’re rundown, behind on your chores, and no closer to having a polished presentation for the office on Monday. Where did the weekend go? And did you really want to spend it cleaning and playing catch-up anyway?
A Weekend Well-lived – but Mindfully
Being a weekend warrior has long been something to be proud of. It describes someone who is a real go-getter, crossing off tasks in short order over the span of only two days. However, for most, it is time to reclaim our weekends.
Those two magical days sandwiched between a week of 9-5’s often accumulate to-do’s from Monday to Friday. Need to go to the gym? Finish a work project? Clean your house? The weekend becomes a catch-up period for anything that can’t be accomplished during the workweek.
But, it shouldn’t be this way. Saturday and Sunday should be days for you. Two days to catch up on your mental and physical health so you can wake up on Monday feeling refreshed instead of feeling like you need to recover from your weekend.
So how do you keep chores and unfinished workplace projects from dominating your days off? It begins with prioritizing.
Know Your Priorities
Step one is determining what is most important to you. When it comes to Saturday and Sunday, your mental and physical health should claim the top spot. However, in reality, there are some weekends when certain tasks absolutely have to be completed; whether it be finishing up a presentation or painting the living room. Real-life happens and occasionally it just isn’t practical to veg out the entire break.
But more often than not, try to carve out time for activities that improve your wellbeing. Figure out what refreshes you and go out and do it. The weekend presents a welcome opportunity to be flexible with your time. You can sleep in, visit a local park, or even join a fitness class. Your day can be as unstructured as you like and full of activities that leave you feeling rejuvenated.
A word to the wise, don’t forget to block out time for rest. Usually, setting aside a rest period at the beginning of the day or the end of the day works best. This way if activities run longer than expected your downtime won’t get squeezed out.
Get Serious About Weekday Prep
Next, set yourself up for a great weekend by staying on top of everything during the week. Prepping for the weekend means working strategically and diligently during your week. Letting tasks and chores pile up for the weekend will sabotage any chance at rest and relaxation.
Tackling chores incrementally during the workweek is a great way to free up some time on your weekend. Consider vacuuming after dinner one night or cleaning the bathroom after you shower in the morning. You really only need 20-30 minutes each day to complete small portions of large tasks.
Administrative items, like returning calls or scheduling appointments, can be handled in the same way. Set aside some time on your lunch break or even use hands-free calling on your way home to check off these to-dos. These obligations may seem small but they can easily snowball throughout the week and quickly take over your entire weekend.
Don’t Forget to Rest and Refresh
Your weekends should become a ritual of sacred time devoted to leisure. On Saturday and Sunday, you should be able to do what you love but also just do “less”.
Don’t overextend yourself with social events and if you must work be sure to set time limits. Ultimately, your weekend should be spent doing less of everything, but still more things that contribute to a life well-lived.