Optimizing your weekend fun
Vanderkam’s book on what the most successful people do before breakfast, also addresses the way to prepare and spend your weekends. From her book we can derive tips to not only succeed during our workweek, but excel in our weekends too. Planning your weekend provides you with the opportunity for anticipatory pleasure. Also, it allows you to actually do the activities you crave rather than spending your weekend itself planning. But then how does one start optimizing their weekend pleasures? This can be done by:
- Making a list of 100 doable dreams to update and do on the weekends,
- Setting anchors, and
- Using the six secrets of successful weekends in your advantage.
Make a list of 100 doable dreams
Figuring out what to do on your weekends starts with asking yourself: “what do I want to do more of with my time?” Vanderkamp’s method to fill your weekends with activities that you are passionate about, is making a list of 100 doable dreams. Where the dreams on the top of the list may be less realistic for your regular weekend, you will start to find great weekend activities once you get to about dream 100.
A few of doable dreams that are on my list include visiting the Rijksmuseum, the Louwman museum (just around the corner of our house and filled with lots of gorgeous oldtimers), going for dinner at Jamie Oliver’s restaurant in Rotterdam, baking a Pavlova, and spending another weekend in Berlin. As you can tell I am all over the place, but the list is fun and you will always be able to find at least one dream that is doable even if you already have a busy weekend (full of obligations) planned.
Use your list of weekend activities to plan your weekend along the five anchor points: Friday night, Saturday day, Saturday night, Sunday day, and Sunday night. Of course, this planning can be as loosely as you wish.
Since I learned about setting anchors, weekend planning has become way more fun. I always have my Sunday morning and day reserved for dancing classes. To make sure I have enough time to do all of my chores and to do’s around the house, I tend to keep Sunday night free. If I have enough time left, I love to spend it cooking those more elaborate recipes, reading a book, and taking a nice relaxing bath. Friday and Saturday nights are reserved for fun stuff with friends or the boyfriend. Personally I need some relaxing time on Saturday morning, to basically be lazy and cranky. Just watching series, reading a bit, playing board games, Sudoku, and enjoying a fabulous breakfast. In order for me to skip my weekly truffle salami and cheese on French baguette, you must have some pretty exciting plans in store for me. After all the recharging, I love to go fitness and practice my dance routines.
Six secrets of successful weekends
1. Dig deep
Your list of dreams to pursue on the weekends should know no limits. Even activities that you have not done in years are eligible.
2. Use your mornings
Mornings are great to pursue your personal goals, without affecting your plans with your friends and family.
3. Create traditions
Rituals make memories and comforting ones stimulate happiness.
4. Schedule downtime
Plan your downtime in for instance the form of a nap, to recharge, resurrect, and shine.
5. Make time to explore
Reserve time in your planning to stretch your routine by exploring outside; running, biking, or strolling around an unknown area.
6. Plan something fun for Sunday nights
Planning fun activities on Sunday nights will help you deal with the Sunday night-blues, given the thoughts about work the next day.
Minimise the have to-do’s
According to Vanderkamp, weekends doing the activities we love are even the best weekends according to the most successful people. Therefore have to-do’s should be minimised. As Career Lion, you are most likely busy enough during the week such that you feel the need to catch up with your chores on the weekend. However, chores expand and the world does not end when you don’t do them “this” weekend. Therefore, only plan short chore time windows. This will also make you more motivated and quicker in checking off your to do’s to proceed with the fun stuffs you planned.
Are you as happy to read this as I was learning about this? Here, is proof that you should not feel any guilt in leaving your chores unfinished. Nobody died not wearing his or her favourite outfits that week, simply because washing wasn’t on the top of their priority list during their well-deserved weekend.
Plan the week ahead
Apart from your fun Sunday night activity, be sure that you also take the time to plan for the week ahead. This gives you a Career Lion battle strategy, gets your priorities straightened, and stops others from taking up your precious time. To get more tips on planning, read the article on the planning tools for career lions.