How many of us regard the weekend as a time of rest, leisure and pleasant activities? Not many, I’ll bet. Most of us spend a huge portion of our weekend just catching up – on household chores, projects, and work. While getting a ton of stuff done on those two days is rewarding in its own way, slogging through until Monday without any kind of break and enjoyment can make the work week even more exhausting and stressful. As much as most of us would dearly love to have two whole days of rest and relaxation, that’s simply not reality for many of us. Whether you clock into an established, 9 – 5, Monday through Friday employment, or you’re an entrepreneur, small business owner, or full-time parent home with kids most days whose schedule is more fluid, it’s really important to use that weekend time productively. And by productively, I don’t mean constantly getting stuff done. Reading a book for pleasure, taking a long walk, or just a well-deserved nap is productive, too!
I gave some thought to this when I caught this Tiktok video of an interview of a Wellesley College senior who is an academic success coach for students there. She had some excellent advice about “chunking” up weekend time that I decided to expand upon for this blog.
So many folks look at those two days as one, single, long block of time, and neglect to put any thought into how to get the most out of it. We look at our ridiculously long to-do lists and just soldier on through, just hoping we’ll get everything done in time to catch a short break. Instead, I’d like to offer a different approach, actually just a different way to look at how to deal with a long stretch of unscheduled time and how to use it to your best advantage.
Instead of approaching the weekend as one, long, amorphous blob of time, try thinking of it in chunks – chunking it up into seven general blocks: Friday evening, Saturday morning, afternoon and evening, and Sunday morning, afternoon and evening.
Unless you’ve got one long weekend project lined up, chunking down the weekend into blocks of time allows you the opportunity to combine some chores, perhaps a little work, and definitely some well-needed leisure time into each weekend. Don’t wait until Friday afternoon as you’re driving home from work or closing up your laptop to plan your time. Maybe you decide to have leisure time on Friday evening after a long week at work, or maybe you knock off a chore, like grocery shopping, from the list for the weekend. Perhaps Saturday morning gets errand time, but Saturday afternoon is for a friend gathering and Saturday evening is a quick catch up on work. Or maybe you grind through all the “must do’s” on Friday evening and all three time blocks on Saturday and set aside Sunday afternoon and evening for nothing but reading and napping on the couch! However your weekend squares up with your must-do’s and wanna-do’s, taking some time BEFORE the weekend rolls around to put some thought into how you’re going to break up the time and feel productive as well as refreshed will serve both needs together. Instead of just mindlessly churning through all seven time blocks, spend a little time and thought on prioritizing what really needs to get done, and what would really help recharge you for the week ahead. Don’t forget that “down time” and “people time” (with family and friends) should be part of almost every weekend – you need it, and you DESERVE it!