Do you feel like you need days off between Sunday and the start of the work week? Sounds like you need to maximize your weekend.

How to Maximize Your Weekend

Original photo byMark Cruz

It’s really easy for the weekend to get away from you. You want to be productive, but you want to relax and maybe binge some Netflix. You want to get you grocery shopping done and maybe meal prep too, but you also want to go out and try that new restaurant. You want to be an adult, but you also want to go out like you did when you were in college.

I feel you, fam. Weekends can be tough. And if your head isn’t in the right place, you’ll never whip those two days into shape.

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I used to be that way. I always wondered how people could get things done on the weekend and come back to work on Monday refreshed and ready to go. It was a huge mystery. HOW WERE THESE PEOPLE DOING IT?

Well, I’m happy to report that I’ve figured it out, and I’m going to share it with you today. And with these simple tips, I think you can be in the right mindset to maximize your weekend.

How to Maximize Your Weekend

001: Wake up early.

Okay. I know I’ve already lost you. I know that you use the weekend to catch up on sleep, and suggesting that you wake up early is sacrilege. Let me explain why you should wake up early though. This will keep you on the same schedule that you’re on throughout the week, which means you don’t have to reset each week on Monday when that alarm goes off.

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And if you’re still not convinced, let me just say this. Do you know how good it feels to mark off everything on your weekend to do list before noon? It’s TRANSCENDENT. Because you’ve gotten everything done, then you can spend the rest of the weekend living your life like the well-adjusted party animal/Netflix bingewatcher you are.

(If mornings aren’t your thing, I’ve got some advice about how to become a morning person.)

002: Plan things for the evening.

I get really exhausted if I leave the house. This sounds weird, but having to interact with other human beings early in the day really drains me for other stuff. Combine that with the sensory overload that is your weekend trip to places like Bed Bath and Beyond or Barnes and Noble, and you have all the ingredients for a midday crash nap.

So, instead, I like to go out and tackle those errands in the afternoon or evening. This is really easy to do if you wake up early and tackle your other stuff before noon. (WAKE UP EARLY IT’S GREAT I’M SERIOUS.) And a little side bonus of all this is that you can use this as an excuse to go out to eat for lunch or dinner. And there is something so amazingly celebratory about going out to eat when you don’t have to come home and keep working.

003: Keep your to do list under control.

Hi everyone. My name is Marisa, and I have a to do list problem. There are days when I list out every last thing that I need to do in the foreseeable future. Then, I look at the list. It’s long, and I will never conquer it. That’s demoralizing, and it keeps me from getting stuff done because I’m too stressed to even start.

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So, realize that you aren’t going change the world, cure cancer, or launch a million-dollar business all in one weekend. I mean, if you could, that would be great. But you can’t, so don’t treat your to do list like you can. Be realistic, and only put things on the to do list that you can get done. That may mean breaking down bigger tasks into smaller ones, and putting those smaller chunks on the to do list. Keeping your to do list in check is key when it comes to feeling like you can maximize your weekend.

004: Re-think the definition of indulgences.

If you feel like you need a night out with a $100 bar tab every weekend, I’m really interested to know how you found this blog. Because, like, I’m totally the opposite. And while I do enjoy going out, I’ve found that one weekend can be all it takes to really derail your monthly budget. So what do you do instead in order to celebrate the victories of the past week?

You don’t have to take a vow of poverty. There is a happy medium between rolling like a baller and living like a broke-ass. Think of little things you can gift yourself. For example, a quick trip to the bookstore is always fun for me. Or I may go buy some fancy loose-leaf tea. And have I ever preached to you from the gospel of the afternoon nap? What about the gospel of the large tub of popcorn at the matinee? All of these indulgences are some of my favorite things to do. They may not seem like much, but if you allow yourself the time and space to appreciate them, then they feel like solid gold.

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005: Make sure your weekend aligns with your values.

It took me forever to get this one under control, but since I have, I feel like everything is coming up Mohi. I used to wake up super late, roll out of bed and grab coffee, and then just read the internet for hours. Then, I’d watch some Netflix, finally shower, and then realize that it was already 4 PM, and I hadn’t done anything. When I realized how I was spending my time, and how using all that time didn’t align with any of my goals or values, I was able to make a change that made my weekends way more productive, and still gave me time to hang out with friends.

Now, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t sleep in on occasion, or enjoy a good TV show marathon. But it can’t be the norm if you want to actually get shit done. Plus, that Netflix marathon feels a lot better after you tackle that to do list. Seriously. You guys. Wake up early and do stuff. It will change your life.

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How Do You Maximize Your Weekend?

What do you do to keep your to do list in check? Do you have a weekend routine that keeps you productive? Leave me all your weekend hacks in the comments!

2 Responses

  1. I’m struggling with becoming a morning person when my classes don’t start until 2:30 in the afternoon twice a week. On Wednesdays…we wear pink…er, I am not done until nearly 7 pm and by that time I have spent nearly 4 hours in class. I’m trying to figure out how I can sneak in a quick nap when I have to leave by 1:30 pm. It just seems weird to get up at 7 am then nap at noon so I can go to class feeling a bit more refreshed.

    1. I feel you! College schedules don’t do a whole for normalcy. Twice a week I have to be on campus at 10:30 AM, and I teach until 9 PM. And on Tuesdays, I’m there until 4:30, but I’m done by 1:15 on Thursdays. Basically, I try to keep my mornings consistent since nothing else is.

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