How to make your weekends more valuable

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Does it ever feel like the weekend is a thing of the past—that Saturdays and Sundays have just turned into two days full of errands you didn’t get to during the week? 

According to Katrina Onstad, author of The Weekend Effect, we feel like we don’t have weekends anymore because we actually don’t—we’re working way more than we used to and, thanks to our smart phones, we are bringing the office home with us. 

This has many effects on us. For one, people who work long hours are more prone to strokes, heart disease, mental illness and depression. Socially, working 24/7 means we’re not maintaining those relationships that make life worth living.

Here are some of Katrina’s tips on how to reclaim your weekend.

WORK LESS
The life changing benefits really boil down to this: are you going to look back at the end of your life and say you had an existence beyond your work identity? Taking time for you lays the track for a life filled with purpose and connection and leisure activities that bring you pleasure—that aren’t about success.

CUT BACK ON KIDS’ ACTIVITIES
Sometimes it’s not work that fills our weekends, it’s kids’ stuff; practices, rehearsals, play dates, etc…Parents get grief because there’s a cultural expectation of high achievement. Let your kids be bored and play—we have to move past the idea that time has to be filled and that every moment has to be driving toward some invisible finish line.

CHANGE YOUR HOUSEWORK SCHEDULE
For a lot of us, the weekends are full of domestic work. Many would argue it’s the only time to get chores done, but there are little things you can do in your own life. First of all, be vigilant about your weekends. Make quality weekend leisure a priority. Think about a way to farm out some chores to weeknights, like by doing housework on Thursday night instead. Or maybe lower your standards and accept that you don’t have Pinterest domestic perfection. Live your life with a bit of mess and spend that afternoon sitting in a park with a friend.

ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS
  1. What gives my weekend value? Let go of the fantasy weekend and live an actual weekend that benefits you.
  2. What prevents those things from happening? Is it shopping, cleaning, and kid commitments? The formula that seems to work for people who have good weekends is simple: do more of list A and less of list B. Doing less and having less on all fronts may be the best way to make those 48 hours feel like a reprieve.
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