If you’re like most of us, you start the week off full of intentions for what you want to accomplish that week. But then Friday rolls around and you look at all your unfinished tasks and wonder what you did all week. That’s why it's so important to develop weekend habits that'll set you up for success in the week ahead.
I’m an extremely goal-oriented person. And a compulsive list maker to boot. I even make lists for my family of things that have to get done. (They still love me a lot, anyway.) And like most people, I used to use my weekends as a dumping ground for everything that didn’t get done during the week. Come Monday, I was so exhausted from trying to play catch up on all weekend I felt like I hadn’t had a break at all. I realized that something was going to give, and that something was me. And my sanity.
Surprisingly, the things that you need to be doing on the weekend aren’t always work or task-oriented. In fact, they might appear to be the antithesis of work, but once you do them, they will positively impact your week, whether you’re looking to crush a work or PTO meeting. That's because having a successful week has nothing to do with work, but rather achieving the things you need to do in order to lead a happier and healthier life. These weekend habits just might make you feel more fulfilled, content (and successful) than ever.
1. Clear Your Desk
There’s nothing like sitting down at your desk on Monday morning (and not being able to see the surface of said desk) to make you want to roll right back into bed. If you work outside the home, be sure to straighten up your desk before Friday at 5:00. And if you’re a stay-at-home or work-from-home mom, be sure to tidy up over the weekend before Monday hits. Having everything (somewhat) orderly can put you in the right mindset to have a successful week.
2. Write It Down
It can be hard to keep your thoughts straight when you’ve got every itty bitty detail racing through your mind at any given moment. To avoid feeling overloaded (and overwhelmed), start taking notes on your phone, or put pen to paper and write it all out. Doing so will help release the thoughts from your mind and help you to focus better.
3. Reward Yourself
For some serious Monday motivation, build little rewards into your week. Give yourself something to look forward to; it might be if you finish working on that presentation, you can go get a manicure later in the day. In order for this to work, though, you’re going to have to pencil it into your schedule so that you ensure that you actually do it.
4. Have A Plan
In order to have a successful week, you need to know ahead of time what needs to be accomplished — and more to the point, what doesn’t. So make a list of what needs to be done, and make a realistic plan that works for you. Better yet, gather the family together to work out a schedule that includes everyone. “Everyone should have their calendar handy, even the kids,” says Dr. Melissa Gratias, a productivity coach. “Engaging everyone in this keeps you from being the keeper of the calendar.” That way, you’ll all be organized and in sync for the week ahead.
5. App To It
Apps can be a great way to get organized. “When I find a great mobile app, I feel like I have a personal assistant,’ says Jessica Stewart, a property manager and mother to two toddlers. Since mobile apps can be used to do everything from ordering groceries to managing your family’s ever-changing schedule, it can help free up time to do what you really want to do.
6. Make A Meal Plan
There’s nothing like facing a hangry toddler when you all you’ve got is some frozen chicken cutlets to make you lament not making a meal plan. While I'm not suggesting spending all of your time slaving over a stove come Saturday and Sunday, your week might be more successful if you plan out your meals ahead of time. “In the absence of plans, meals are often stressful and less healthy,” says Dr. Gratias. Writing down what’s for dinner every night of the week means less time shopping in the supermarket and stressing out about meal planning. This can be a huge after work timesaver, or even if you’ve been at home all day running after little ones and don’t have the time (or energy) to cook.
7. Take A Nap
It might sound counterintuitive, but taking a nap can actually make you more successful. Napping not only improves cognitive performance, but it can help clear the cobwebs and facilitate improved learning, and increased memory retention, Inc. reported. Plus, it just makes you a nicer person, because more sleep can improve your mood and make you less cranky come Monday.
8. Take A Tech Break
If you thought that you had to be plugged in all the time to be successful, think again. Not only is the blue light emitted from screens dangerous to your sleep, but more often than not, being on social media adversely affects your happiness level, Medium reported. So skip the social media scrolling and enjoy some screen-free time with your family.
9. Get Outside
The point of the weekend is to do things that you can’t normally do during the week — being out in nature being one of them. A study published in Science Daily found that spending time in the great outdoors is good for you in both body and spirit. It reduces your risk for type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and premature death. Oh yeah, and it also reduces your stress level, too. Being relaxed on the weekends means that you’re priming yourself to be better during the week.
10. Chop The Chores In Half
It often feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day. And as such, you might find that the things you couldn’t accomplish during the week (hello laundry) get shoved into your weekends. But having too many chores to do over the weekend is only going to kill your momentum. So take a realistic look at what you need to do and try not to spend your entire weekend cleaning. Believe me, there's always going to be a mountain of clothes waiting to be washed.
11. Spend Time With Your Family
With kids and partners running in all different directions during the week, the weekend can be a great time to reconnect. “Try to schedule some down time together, even just to order in and eat together," suggests Nonnahs Driscoll, a professional organizer. Being with the people you love can serve as a simple reminder of what matters most to you — and offer great motivation to tackle the week ahead.
12. Plan The Bigger Picture
During the week, it can be hard to think of big picture goals, since you’re focused on the Monday minutiae that you have to deal with. So that’s why Saturday and Sunday can be a good time to revisit your current situation and see what you’d like to improve. It might be anything from figuring out how to ask for a promotion to pledging to spend more one-on-one time with your child. Don’t think about what you need to do right now in the moment, but where you really want your life headed — and then set some goals to get you there.