Do you know the story of Sisyphus? In Greek mythology, the king of Ephyra was punished by being forced to roll a boulder up a hill for eternity. In modern times, sometimes the only thing that separates us from this legendary fate is the sweet desire to enjoy your weekend. After countless hours of going through documents, organizing stuff in excel sheets and fighting with printers, we all wait for our sacred weekly gateway before being called back to the boulder.
Weekends, when handled correctly, are pure fun. A precious break that refuels you with the energy needed for the various boring tasks and professional growth you’ll encounter next week. However, the biggest problem with weekends is the fact that they’re over so fast (although arguably not as fast as it would take you to create a website or start a business). That being said, we’ve gathered these following tips to help you extract every ounce of joy from your free time and commit fully to a successfully spent weekend:
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01. Plan ahead
We know, planning ahead might sound like something people who enjoy sharpening pencils do, but trust us, it will deliver results. The concept itself is pretty obvious, yet still extremely important. First of all, don’t just write “SLEEP” on your calendar from Friday night until Monday morning. It’s not that funny (okay, maybe a little bit) and won’t get you very far in your quest to conquer the 2 days ahead. Contrarily, don’t over plan every minute of your free time, or it will feel just like any other appointment packed day at the office.
Just take a step back and try to create some kind of list – and if you have a good memory, you don’t even need to write it down. Think of all the things you want to do and what will be the ideal order to organize them. For example, grab coffee with a friend in the morning, squeeze in a few errands after, then some grocery shopping and finally back home. See, it’s not exactly the complexity level of an Ocean Eleven plan. It’ll take you maybe 4 minutes. Furthermore, making plans will allow you to enjoy the more “exclusive” activities that require booking in advance, i.e., a trampoline basketball tournament with your buddies, dinner at that fancy restaurant everyone and their moms are talking about, or finally meeting up with your old college roommate that’s been M.I.A.
02. Get adventurous
Plans or not, try to avoid your stale everyday routine. The weekend isn’t any other day of the week, so don’t treat it this way when choosing what to do. Leave all the “but I need to get up for work tomorrow” excuses behind and pick something fun and exciting to do. Something that will get you out of your comfort zone, both physically and mentally. It can be a road trip, a quiet night outside under the stars, a Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones binge or practically anything you wouldn’t have time for on a weekday.
03. Free up your upcoming week
Although possibly the least fun on our list, this one has some advantages that we must point out. Agreeably, you probably hate working on weekends, but sometimes doing so gives you the chance to cross off some urgent items faster than other occasions. This can be anything from writing a creative blog more efficiently from the comfort of your quiet home (hmm… sounds familiar for some reason) to those mundane chores like cleaning, folding clothes, and clearing out your inbox.
04. Change locations
We all have a special bond with our bed and sofa, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t separate yourself from their soft grips. As much as “potatoing” sounds like the ultimate way to spend free time, staying at home for too long might have a bad aftertaste. You don’t want to get to Sunday night feeling a strong cocktail of low-esteem, parental-criticism, and FOMO. So stop this while you can; go to a cafe, eat breakfast in the park or get some vitamin D. It’s already 6 PM and you haven’t left your place? If your plans were to watch a movie tonight, why not at the nearby cinema? Changing locations will make your weekend feel richer and full of experiences, even if you could do similar things from home.
We’re not saying lie horizontally for twelve hours a day and practically become a bed accessory, but it’s important to get an adequate amount of sleep. As a rule of thumb, try to get at least seven hours of sleep each weekend night. Keep in mind that this is also the time to recover from all the sleepless nights you accumulated throughout the week. Squeeze in a nap or two as well. Good sleep is a key ingredient to a healthy lifestyle that will benefit your heart, weight, and mind.
06. Move your body
The weekend is the perfect time to jog, dance or go to the gym – unlike weeknights where the chances of you having free-time to exercise are low. The end of the week provides you all the time you need in order to work those muscles. Don’t let Saturday and Sunday’s chilled vibes get in your head too much. Even if you don’t believe that intense physical exercise is important for your weekly break, you can find a way to have a burst of healthy productivity. For example, try meeting with a friend on the other side of town or hopping between not-so-close stores when shopping.
Still can’t see yourself running around the neighborhood on the weekend? Here’s a more fun alternative: Give your favorite ball game a chance. Maybe you can join an organized team or just a neighborhood group that plays together during the weekend? No matter what you’ll choose to do, do something. Sorry to be the one to say it again, but we all know that physical activity lowers the risk of a heart attack, cholesterol levels, and type 2 diabetes. On an instant gratification level, it helps you feel better too.
07. Save some time for yourself
Weekends aren’t just for tasks, running around or socializing. They’re also a great time to spend a few hours with the most important person in your life: you. Do stuff that makes you feel good, energized, and stress-free. It can be that book buried underneath all the mess on your bed stand waiting for you to give it some love, a TV show you want to binge for 2-3 hours or even a movie a friend recommended awhile back. Another cool idea is to finally go over the list you made of all the great songs you Shazamed during the last 6 months.
08. Don’t think about Monday
We all know the Sunday-night blues. The most challenging part of the weekend (and maybe of the entire week). It’s the reversed version of the joyful Friday afternoon. Although its downer effects, you shouldn’t let the Sunday night and the upcoming week that follows contaminate your weekend. With the right preparation, this war can be won. Following these steps is crucial:
Don’t count the hours: Looking at the clock every 30 minutes and calculating the time left until the weekend when you leave the work building won’t do you anyone good.
Prepare yourself for Monday: Don’t leave all the annoying chores and phone call preparations for Sunday night. Do them on Friday when you’re still happy and energized. If you tend to procrastinate, take a look at these time management tips for guidance.
Save the best for last: Plan something fun to do on Sunday night, just before the weekend ends, so you’ll have a cherry on top of your cake :)