10 Ways to Actually Have a Productive Weekend

We spend all of our work weeks bemoaning our lack of free time and telling ourselves if we just had an extra hour each evening we could get so much more done.

Then as soon as the weekend arrives, we switch off our alarms and forget all our promises to be productive.

And while we all need a little rest and recovery, we know we’ll end up kicking ourselves when Sunday night rolls around and all we’ve managed to knock off our to-do-list is get caught up on Making a Murderer.

In our competitive world, successful young professionals know that having a productive weekend is the key to a having a successful work week. You want to have a weekend that leaves you feeling re-charged rather than exhausted, so you can hit Monday morning ready to take on the world.

So in order to feel like you’ve actually accomplished a few things over the weekend (while still having some fun), we recommend that you try the following:

Wake Up Early
Research has shown that our brains are sharpest two and a half to four hours after waking, so that means waking up before noon on the weekend is important. By getting up early on the weekend you’ve already got a big head start on the rest of the world. In fact, try and get up as close to when you do all week long.

Have One Goal You Absolutely Want to Achieve
We’re all busy. When we hit the weekend we think we want to do “nothing,” but then Sunday rolls around we’re left wondering how the weekend flew by. Instead, make a plan of what you would like to do over the weekend and then chose one goal that you really want to achieve. Even if it’s simply to finish off a book you’ve been ignoring, call your parents, or check out a brunch spot you’ve been dying to try. That way when Sunday does come to a close, you’ll still feel like you accomplished something. It’s about celebrating small victories, people.

Avoid Multi-Tasking
While you may feel like you need to maximize your weekend and making the most of every minute, trying to fit in to much at once can actually work against you. By attempting to accomplish too much at one time, you can actually decrease your efficiency and effectiveness. Instead, try to be present and focused on each activity so you can truly enjoy everything you do.

Limit Housework
Your Saturday afternoon can easily be filled with a day’s worth of chores and errands that need to be done. But instead of dedicating an entire day to more work, spend an hour getting the big chores completed and then move on to something else.

Prep For The Week Ahead
If you already know that you have a busy work week coming up, get organized and prepped early. Perhaps that’s the first task you accomplish on Saturday morning, which will leave you feeling so much better come Sunday when you know you don’t have to scramble to get organized.

Take Up a Hobby
Everyone deserves to get their creative juices flowing. And if you don’t have time during the work week rush to focus on something fun, use the weekend as your chance to pursue your passions that aren’t work related. If you like cooking, try a hard recipe you haven’t had the guts to take on before. Or maybe you’re interested in art; so go take a class already, Picasso. Finding a fun hobby is a great way to unwind and still feel productive.

Stay Active
Just because the work week is over and weekends are supposed to be for fun, you still need to try and squeeze something active into your schedule. Whether you prefer hiking, or rollerblading, fit in at least an hour of exercise, because an active body results in an active mind. This will also make you feel less guilty about the bottle of wine you enjoyed on Friday night.

Don’t Bring Your Work Home With You
We understand that many people have to maintain their work mindset over the weekend, but in order to really relax and unwind, you need to unplug a bit from work life. Try to avoid being on your computer or checking your email incessantly and leave the hard work for Monday.

Save Something Fun For Sunday
No matter how much you love your job, the thought of having get back to the grind on Monday morning can often be a daunting feeling. If you schedule something fun for Sunday afternoon or evening, you’ll have something fun to look forward to, instead of giving into the inevitable Sunday night blues.

Schedule Some Downtime
During the busy work week you might feel like you don’t have time to fit in some quality *me* time, so make sure to give yourself plenty of time over the weekend to do just that. Maybe you want to get caught up on trashy TV, or having some alone time so you can meditate. Whatever it is, get your big tasks out of the way first and the commit to focusing on you.