Friday, August 24, 2012

How to Improve Your Weekends

Friday rolls around and you couldn't be more relieved. No cubicle for two days. No clients, cranky coworkers or time clocks to worry about. Just doing whatever you want, whenever you want, any way you want.

And then you wake up.

We all have that dream and yet we all know that, week after week, it won't turn out like that. There's all the errands you couldn't do during the week you've now got to jam into those two precious days. And we can't forget to go to the gym, mow the lawn, repair one thing or the other, take the car for it's overdue oil change, chaufffer the kids (if you have them) to sporting events, sleepovers and club meetings. And when all that's done we can hang out with friends, try a new recipe/hobby, chill out by the pool, finally read the book everyone else read last year and get caught up on all that email and bill paying. Now you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, any way you want. No, not really. You still have to eat and sleep. The weekend is over and you're back to your weekly grind. There's a reason it's called a grind: it grates on our nerves.

Here's a few steps to help you change those weekends from stressors to stress relievers.

Prioritize. Quickly, decide what can be eliminated from your schedule. I'm not suggesting you eliminate the important things. You definitely need to pay the bills and change the oil. I am, however, suggesting you determine what matters most and work from that point. If you can postpone or even eliminate a few tasks without causing any hiccups to your schedule, you're going to clear up a lot of time for what you really want to do. Do the things you absolutely have to do and rework the rest into another day.

Reorganize your work.  You could potentially save a good hour or two by bundling some errands such as dropping off your dry cleaning on your way to the market. Consider carpooling and you will only be inconvenienced every other weekend. How about taking turns? If I cut both yards, would you rake both? Or you mow this weekend and I'll do it next time. Get creative and add some hours back to your weekend.

Schedule your down time.  You may not want to adhere to a schedule on weekends but it will alleviate some of your time crunch if you pencil in some down time on your calendar. Block out a few hours to go to a dinner party. Wake up an go straight to the gym. Make plans for that hour in the hammock. It's okay. I give you permission. Getting that down time is going to recharge your batteries.

Get your Zzzzs.  I don't like going to bed early on weekends either and I'm not suggesting a sunset bedtime. Still, going to bed a little earlier, say midnight instead of 2 a.m., may give you the energy you need to zoom through your weekend responsibilities without hitting an energy slump. Get the work done, have more time to play. See? It's a good plan.

Aside from the yearly vacations, weekends offer us the next best opportunity to recharge our batteries while having a little fun and adventure.  Take a little time to rework your thinking in order to reclaim some of that precious time.

Happy Friday!

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