I feel like this post almost needs no intro, because we can all agree that it feels so good to have a weekend that is both super productive and refreshingly restful, preparing you for a fresh start on Monday. Personally, when I have a massive to-do list, I either procrastinate and avoid it or I tackle it and end up finishing way more than I thought I could! Here are my 5 Keys for filling your weekend with the latter:
1. Schedule well: You have to know yourself well to schedule well. I work the best when I have a long chunk of time to get everything done, and a long chunk of "break" later. I get distracted if I have too many breaks or too many things scheduled during the day, and I lose my drive. The schedule on my most productive weekends lately looks like this:
Friday: Crea all day, Some Crea meetings, Evenings off.
Saturday: Personal To-Do List all day, Evenings off.
Sunday: Social Things, Family Things, Forget You Have A To-Do List
Obviously, it doesn't always work that way, but this is the ideal set up for me. If you work better with breaks throughout your work - go for it.
2. Start off right: Know the night before what you're going to get started on first. If you wake up with a task in mind, you have a goal right away. I don't deprive myself of the laying-in-bed-for-a-while-on-social-media because I also want my weekends to be restful, but I like to have a reason to get up so that that time doesn't become too long.
3. Organize your to-do list: Usually my to-do list gets created throughout the week as I think of things, so on day one of my weekend, I like to split it into "TODAY," "THIS WEEKEND," "SOON." so that I can focus on what I definitely have to get done today. I also pay attention to which things on "SOON" are important so that I can estimate a time I'll start working on them, even if it's not for a couple of weeks. Sometimes I realize I'll have no time in the upcoming weeks, and a SOON item gets moved to TODAY and replaces a different TODAY item. Make sense?
4. Check off the quick things: Some people say to start with what you enjoy... I say to start with whatever will get done the fastest. I get a little bit of an adrenaline/productivity rush if I see myself check off three things in half an hour. A lot of times it's those quick things that I dread the most -- paying that bill, emailing that person, washing those dishes -- but once they're done my to-do list is way shorter and so much less intimidating, and I have energy from the feeling of accomplishing a lot.
5. Include something active: A lot of times, doing something that involves physically using your body really helps you feel like you accomplished something. One of my favorite, productive weekends, I spent an hour setting up IKEA chairs, and it felt really good because my body was moving while I was checking that off my to-do list. If all of your to-do list items involve staring at a screen, maybe add a workout to your list or take your "rest" day to go to the beach or do something outside.
6. Have that "rest" day: It can't always be a full day, but I can't tell you how much it changed my life to be disciplined about time off. If you start the week off well-rested, you'll have a better, more productive week and your to-do list the next weekend will be shorter too. It's a cycle, you know?
And make sure your rest day or rest time is well defined, so that you can totally release yourself from thinking about your to-do list during that time. If I just accidentally end up taking a break, I'm still feeling guilty the whole time about how I'm not being productive. But if I've intentionally decide when to take a break, I can fully relax during that time. It's like shopping when you know your budget vs. when you're just spending money when it comes up. It feels so much better to have a budget.
What usually helps you have a productive weekend?
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