It’s Friday. You’ve put in your hours. You’ve done your deeds. It’s now time to hit the bar and partay, right?
But then Monday comes and your email is stacked. You feel guilty because all that time you spent just binge-watching Hulu or Netflix could have been spent better.
Then you wonder. How does Bill Gates spend his weekends? You’re certain he doesn’t binge-watch anything.
You’re determined to make your next weekend worthwhile. But how? Keep reading to find out.
Prepare for the Week
We call it the weekend. It’s not just a weekend, is it? It’s both an end and a beginning.
Just look at the week on your calendar. Which day is the first? It’s not Monday, is it?
Ancient literature even tells us this. “Six days you shall labor and the seventh, you shall rest.” It’s only contemporary culture that’s pushed the week back and shrunk it.
Thus, what should you do with your now split weekend? Take the first day to rest and the second day to prepare.
Jack Dorsey calls Sunday “Sort-Out-Your-Life” day. And that makes sense. If you wait till Monday to plan your week, you’ve wasted a whole day.
Plan your week on Sunday and you’ll hit the computer running on Monday.
Actively Rest and Restore
It’s easy to do something brainless on your weekends and call it rest. But the problem is, brainless time during the weekend is like the junk food of rest.
You get no restorative effects from being brainless. In fact, too much time vegging in front of the tube will increase your anxiety instead of lower it.
This doesn’t mean you have to sit and stew over that article about the “best email client for Mac” you’ve got to write on Monday. It does mean you activate different parts of your brain you wouldn’t normally use.
This could mean hiking in the mountains and stimulating your mind with nature. It could mean taking time to meditate. It could mean going to your place of worship and meeting with people of like-faith.
If you actively rest during your weekend, you’ll feel more relaxed and less stressed on Monday.
Take Up Hobbies That Have Nothing to Do With Work
One way to stay active and dump the work-brain is to take on a hobby. Hobbies engage the mind and the body. They give us connections we wouldn’t have otherwise had.
Learn an instrument like Warren Buffet with his ukelele. Or pick up a new sport. Take language classes or art classes.
Whatever you do, do something different with your time. It will still be productive, just not monetarily. And that’s actually a good thing.
The most successful people in this world understand that productivity applies beyond “workplace work.” You can be just as productive getting out the door and riding a wave in the ocean as you can be writing that next report or making any kind of money.
Non-solo hobbies can be useful for future work opportunities. How? Through connections.
You could be networking and not even know it. Why do you think businessmen started golfing? Do you really think they were passionate about hitting little white balls? Nope, the clubhouse was just where all the other big-wigs hung out.
Sit Down and Refocus
Thanksgiving isn’t the only time of the year to be grateful. The New Year isn’t the only time to readjust your sights.
Ask yourself what’s important. Are you spending your time on the things that are important to you?
Another way to to look at it is this: how will future-you see the time you’re spending now? Will they be angry at you for not spending your time in certain ways?
Take time to do this. Write down the things you will change over the coming months. Consider what you might have to sacrifice to make those changes.
Lastly, make a game plan. It’s not enough to say you “should.” You have to say you “will.” Otherwise, it will never get done.
This means writing out specific goals and creating steps for meeting those goals.
Read All the Books!
“I don’t have time to read, I’m too busy.” I’ve heard entrepreneurs say this often. But then they’ll be out fishing that weekend.
Yes, have a hobby, but take some time for your mind too. You have time to read. It just takes prioritizing your time and training your brain.
It might seem like work at first, and it is. But you will gain more knowledge and more wisdom if you disciplined yourself to read books.
Something about the way our brains work and mold changes with reading. We open up opportunities and parts of our brains we never knew existed.
You should never stop educating yourself. And this doesn’t just mean watching YouTube videos about complicated subjects, it means sitting down and filling your brain with words.
It’s a discipline, it’s a habit. And the most successful people and busy people in the world do it, so you can too.
Take a Vacation
When I lived in middle-of-nowhere New Mexico, I took mini-vacation almost every other weekend for the first year. We hardly knew anyone in town. There wasn’t much to do in town.
This was probably the best thing we could have done for our sanity. My wife was just starting out as a veterinarian and Roswell was a uniquely stressful place.
But why do successful people jump in their personal jets and galavant to wild places for a few days at a time? The brain needs new stimulus.
If they just sat in their uptown flat all weekend, every weekend, their minds would become stale. No new inspiration would come their way.
You don’t have to own a private jet to take mini-vacations. You can drive down the road or take a commuter flight to the big city. Just go someplace new every once in a while.