What do you usually do on weekends? Do you spend this short time broadening your knowledge by reading a good book, or learning a new activity like gardening? Do you go to Ocean Park and spend it with your family, or stay home catching up on some work? Or do you just wake up at noon, realize you’ve already missed breakfast, and wasted half of a supposedly good day?
While weekends are a great to do absolutely nothing—just sleep and eat all day, to calm yourself from the hectic week you just had—but did you know that without a plan on how to spend it wisely and productively, you’re actually just wasting really precious time?
Take it from top executives, the busiest people in the world—they use their weekends wisely and productively, shifting gears and unplugging from the day-to-day stresses of work, and spend it with rejuvenating activities. So here are some tips we’ve gathered around the web to help you find balance during the weekends and face Monday’s feeling like a superhuman.
1. Wake up at the same time
While you might be so tempted to sleep in, especially if you haven’t gotten much in the past week, it actually isn’t very advisable to do so. Our bodies have a sleeping cycle (circadian rhythm) that makes us feel well rested and refresh after waking up, and having an inconsistent wake-up time disturbs this rhythm. Have you ever felt groggy, tired, and super lazy when you wake up late? Yes, you’ve just disrupted your sleeping cycle, and made yourself less productive. If you want to catch up on enough Zzz’s, sleep early at night.
2. Me time mornings
Designate weekend mornings as time to spend on yourself first before your anyone else; it could be anything from doing Tai Chi, yoga, or a quick morning run. This way, your forcing yourself to fully wake up the same time you do on weekdays. So get up early and do something physical, and then engage in some mental practices to let your mind achieve its peak performance in the morning.
3. Go on little (or big) adventures
Plan on trying something you haven’t done before, or something you haven’t done in a long time, and commit on doing that when weekend comes. How about a hike at the nearest hill, or spending half of the day inside your local museum? Anticipating for something good to come accounts for a positive mood throughout the day, even better, you’d experience the same about of excitement when the day actually arrives.
4. Pursue a passion project
Indulge yourself into a little passion project, and you’ll be surprised how greatly it opens your mind into new ways of thinking. Aside from learning a new skill, or gaining more knowledge, it also is a great way to escape stress. Try your hand at painting, or learning a new instrument, or better yet, start planning out that little business concept you’ve been thinking of doing over the past year or so.
5. Disconnect & Unplug
An important thing to really consider as a weekend strategy is to disconnect, because if you can’t find a way to disconnect from work, it would be as if you hadn’t left the office at all. Checking emails while supposedly taking this time to recharge and refocus is a like bitter ingredient to stress. A study from Stanford has also shown that your mind can only work for max of 50-hours a week, and just drops off at 55-hours. So basically, a person who puts in 70-hours of work produces nothing more with that extra 15 hours.
But let’s face it, disconnecting is harder this now that we have smartphones being linked to our work e-mails, but if there isn’t a way for you to fully avoid opening that Inbox, set a specific time of the day to check emails, and reply to just the really important ones, and respond to the rest on the Monday morning.
Think of weekends this way: if you live up to 80-years-old, you’ll have 4,160 weekends, so don’t let any go to waste. Keep them productive so you’ll have a meaningful and gratifying life.