I’m obviously a morning person, which I’ve written about here a few times. Although I realized the unique privilege that comes with being a person who is somehow able to accomplish things before 9am, I also am fully aware that a lot of people have a hard time doing so. People are tired, they work long hours, and their bodies just generally don’t like waking up early. And that is totally okay too. The only thing that sucks is that they have to miss out on awesome tips on how to maximize their morning productivity and make their day that much easier and better.
Which is why I’ve come today with a more midday-to-evening-friendly list of tips – tips on how to maximize your productivity, at whatever time is most convenient for you, before Friday, so you can have an awesome weekend.
The way my classes are set up, I have the same type of assignments due for each class every Sunday night at 11:59pm. This is great in theory – I love not having homework due every day. However, it also often means that I procrastinate like the little disaster I am, and end up with a load of work to do on Sunday morning (which is literally the worst time to do work – Sundays are for naps and pancakes, not writing essays). So in addition to all the little favors I do myself in the morning to give myself a fun and restful evening, I also do a bunch of things during the week, at my convenience, to give myself a fun and restful weekend. Here are five things to get done by Friday if you want to give yourself a restful, enjoyable, work-free weekend.
1. Get your actual work done.
Build work that is due early on Monday – or, in my case, 11:59pm Sunday – into your week rather than leaving it for the weekend. It feels good to have a lot of time between “I’ve been given this assignment” and “This assignment is now due”, but the deadlines are always sneaky and come around quicker than you think. Tie up all of those loose ends before Friday afternoon. Pretend they’re due then, and that your boss or professor will be breathing down your neck waiting for them by 4pm Friday. You’ll feel so smug that you left a full two-day cushion of time between completing your work and actually needing to have it done, and you’ll get to enjoy the entire weekend without the dark cloud of stuff you need to do looming over your head.
2. Loosely plan what you need to do.
This means scheduling the things you kind of need to do, like buying food and toilet paper, paying bills, getting your car washed, or any other thing you have to get done that won’t necessarily make for a great time. This is technically your free time, so it is nice that you’re not at work or in class – but you’ll definitely want to have a game plan for getting that not-so-fun stuff done in a quick and efficient way so you can move on to the better parts of the weekend, like going out with friends or catching up on your latest Netflix binge.
3. Better yet, get some of that “need-to-do” stuff done during the week.
If you find yourself with a spare hour or two on Tuesday, even though it might be tempting to flop on the couch and scroll through Twitter, try to get one or two of your life-things accomplished. Example: Drew has this weekend off, so instead of leaving our grocery shopping for Sunday (which we did last week, reminding me that grocery shopping on Sunday is not as fun as cooking breakfast at noon and watching movies), we decided to do it last night when I got home from class at 8pm. It was a little late to want to be at the grocery store, but I’m relieved we got it done during a time that we would have just been lounging around anyway. Now, we have a chunk of time set aside this weekend to enjoy in whatever way we please.
4. Keep up with housework (as best as you can).
This is similar to above, but a little more cleaning-specific. My mom always reminds me that if I just clean up as I go along, I won’t ever have to have a massive, overwhelming cleaning session. If I leave dust settling on all of the furniture all week, or don’t wipe down the shower and toilet every other day, it ends up a lot more disgusting at the end of the week than I can deal with quickly, and I have to set aside hours to deep-clean. Even when I’m busy during the week, I try not to rush so hard that I don’t leave time to wash the dish I used, or wipe down the small coffee spill on the counter, or neglect the dust on the nightstand that I saw when I woke up. I put everything away and wipe everything down as I go, to avoid making Saturday into ~cleaning day~. I don’t think I’m capable of an entire cleaning day.
Of course, this isn’t always realistic, as people are busy, and thoroughly and properly cleaning does take some times. But while I do think a solid deep clean is necessary once-per-month or something like that, simply keeping up with the work and generally not being sloppy about your home is a good way to avoid dealing with a huge mess when you finally have the weekend off.
5. Plan some stuff you want to do.
Contrary to the boring stuff you have to do, you probably have a running list of things you want to do in life that would be fun or enriching for you, although you’ve never quite found the time or gotten around to it. Making an actual plan to do one of these things is the best way to prevent the dreaded “it is Friday night and I still have not found a single weekend plan and now I’m going to eat cookie dough in front of the TV until work on Monday” scenario (which I’ve certainly been guilty of). The important thing to remember is that “making weekend plans” is not an activity that is best left for the weekend. Plans usually take a bit of time to fall into place – at least more than a day, in most cases. Talk to friends early in the week about the brunch place you want to hit on Saturday, or lock in tickets for you and your partner to see a movie on Friday. Having something set in stone to look forward to will also help you be extra-productive all week, because you know there’s some sweet plans waiting for you at the end.
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