Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Do Your Weekends Rejuvenate You?

I came across an article by Laura Vanderkam "What Successful People Know About Weekends." The title alone intrigued me. I was wondering if there is a secret that I don't know. I decided to find out!

Here is a quote from the beginning of the article:

We all look forward to weekends. But are you really making the most of them?
Few people are, because we tend not to think about weekends holistically. Here's one way to look at it: There are 60 hours between 6 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Monday. Even if you sleep for 24 of those hours, that leaves 36 hours for other things. That's the equivalent of a full-time job. Yet many of us hit Monday morning with a vague sense of having squandered our precious downtime on activities that didn't help us recreate.


This article made me think about my weekends. As I looked back at my weekends over the last few months, I was sadly surprised to see how few plans I had made that would really work to rejuvenate me and make me ready for Monday morning. Sometimes I was so tired by Friday evening that the only thing that I could do was to drag myself to the gym and then collapse on the comfy chair in my living room. On a few Saturdays--when we haven't had a snow or a freeze issue--I was able to drag myself to the gym again. Yeah, I had a few coffees or lunches with friends and my regular soup kitchen volunteer once a month, but I had not CONSCIOUSLY planned really any of those events, they just happened.

In her article, Laura walks the reader through a 3-step process to make the most of your weekend:

1. Ask what you would like to do with your time. Laura writes how we tend to spend our weekends on just completing have-to-dos. So what can we do to change that? Make a list! She tells us to write a list of 100 or even better 1000 things that you would like to do or have in your life. Things that would make you and your loved ones happy. Journal, here I come.

This is the beginning of my list:

  • hang pictures on the wall
  • work on my OLW project
  • create/make cards
  • meet friends for coffee or lunch
  • see a movie
  • gym!!!
  • fresh air (should be easier once the weather gets warmer)
  • Skype
  • cook something new 
  • discover a new restaurant
  • write my celebration post
  • blog every day in March (had to include that :)
  • comment on at least a few blog posts

2. Make a plan. Laura talks about anticipation and how it can make us ever happier. I know that looking forward to a dinner with friends this past Sunday night made me happy many days in advance. In the article, Laura gives specific examples of how to plan your weekend (it really is worth reading her whole article; it isn't very long). I don't have my next weekend planned yet, but maybe in March, one of my posts will be a planning for my weekend post.

3. Honor the Sabbath. This last point that she makes is beautiful! It does not really matter if you are religious or not, but making sure that your work does not take more than a few hours on one day of the weekend, helps you to go back on Monday refreshed and rejuvenated. "Spend at least one of your weekend days focused on family, community, inspiration, gratitude, and the larger questions of life and you'll hit Monday in a different frame of mind." I don't think that I could have said it better!

I am off to thinking about my next weekend and how I can make it a better one. How I can plan activities that will rejuvenate me and get me ready for the following busy week. 

How do you organize or plan your weekends? Do you go back to work on Monday mornings feeling refreshed and ready for a new week?


22 comments:

  1. I'm intrigued! I haven't thought of weekends this way. I'm going to read that article. Thank you for sharing it with me. I can't wait to dig into it!

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    1. I am intrigued by all the different comments! I love having these online conversations!

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  2. Honestly? I do not always spend my weekends well. Sometimes, more often than I wish, work creeps in. I have tried not to do any work on Friday evening and Saturdays. The best weekends are the ones when I am away from home for a day and have no access to internet. Thank you for the link to the article.

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    1. Terje, I find that I am more refreshed when I have done something that deviates from the normal during my week. Being away from technology helps to connect in a different way!

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  3. Thanks for sharing. The last section about honoring the sabbath is a good reminder to take for reflection.

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  4. Although I think I get the point the article is making, I still feel that my weekends are best when allowed to be somewhat unstructured and spontaneous - the complete antithesis to the week! Although plans to cook something new might be just what I need to get out of my menu rut.

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    1. Spontaneous cooking does not seem to work for me. I believe that is something that I need to plan. Maybe there will be a dinner party in my future!

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  5. So many wise ideas to consider. I know I am guilty of letting my weekends fill up with work and chores, and yes, I do hit Monday morning already tired. I really like the idea of planning something to anticipate.

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  6. Although I like some of the ideas, my week before the weekend is so structured that I still like the idea of letting things happen. On the other hand, I do try to think ahead to include some things to do that aren't just more school prep, etc., like going to a movie or lunch out.Thanks for sharing & making me think about this, Jaana!

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    1. I don't think that I could ever plan my weekend from start to finish, but like you, I want to me more conscious of including fun or different things that I don't get to do during the week. Maybe this will turn into a post in March to see how my weekends are shaping up!

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  7. It seems like my weekends are dedicated to either catching up or trying to get ahead. I needed to read this today because I know I have neglected myself and my family. Maybe I should take take some if this advice!

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  8. I hear you! Small steps. Rejuvenation seems especially important at this time of the year! Take care of yourself! Your family and your students are counting on that!

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  9. You sure make some great points here. I do NOT always spend my weekends well. I spent TOO much time online or lurking....and too much time planning but not executing. I like having some "down time" but knowing there is laundry, cleaning, and bill hanging over my head can intimidate me into only doing what I must do!......I am rethinking my weekends as I write this post that will stay with me all week!

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    1. Thanks Anita! Starting a conversation is a good thing!

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  10. Jaana, I love this post. Whether super-planned or not, it is about being intentional. I appreciate your words and look forward to reading them in March:)

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    1. Thanks Deborah! March is only two days away! Are you ready?

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  11. I do feel like I spend my life planning the next thing. Hmmm. It always seems like I am maximizing my minutes! (A teacher habit.) I do think it is important to wonder about how we choose to spend our time and be conscious of the selection. That way we don't look back and say, what did I do all those years. Taking time to figure out what matters most from time to time is a good idea. Thanks for making me reflect!!

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    1. Reflection is a good thing! Being intentional about what we do is also important.

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  12. I like this post. Lots to think about here. Bookmarking the article. I love that you make it to the gym before collapsing in that comfy chair. I think that list might provide some quick fodder for March slices.

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    1. Ideas for further posts? Isn't that wonderful how we collect ideas from other blogs! I love that made you think! Thanks Ramona!

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