What The Most Successful People Do On The Weekend
No matter who you are, no matter what your station in life, we all get the same 1,440 minutes per day in the same seven days per week. It all works out to 168 hours weekly for the young and old, great and small, rich and poor alike.
So how can it be that some of us accomplish great things with that seemingly meager amount of time, while others struggle through the week, with barely enough wiggle room to take a deep breath? Well, as it turns out, the super-productive aren’t superhuman—just very careful with our most precious natural resource.
It all boils down to effective time management; as I often point out, time management is really self-management. Despite our fondest fantasies, we’ll never be able to actually manage time itself, or move a snippet from last week to this week, or manufacture even the tiniest bit more. We can only use more wisely the time we’ve been given.
That’s why books like Laura Vanderkam’s latest are so important. In What The Most Successful People Do on the Weekend, Laura shows us how seeming super-people handle their time off.
Laura herself provides a great example: a journalist, writer, marathoner, mother of three young children, and busy volunteer, you might think she never stops moving. But she finds the time to rest. She also offers up the secrets of other super-busy people, from politician/broadcaster Mike Huckabee to a TV producer, a former CEO, and other supermoms.
This little eBook, a continuation of her What The Most Successful People Do… series, makes the perfect beach read (fantasizing a bit here). It’s chockfull of tips drawn from research, anecdotes from the people she interviewed, and her personal observations about making the most of your weekends. For example:
• Stay healthy. Laura and her interviewees all stress the importance of taking care of yourself with exercise and sufficient sleep every night. A healthy diet also goes without saying.
• Set solid boundaries between work time and leisure. Whether you take the full 60-hour weekend most of us enjoy, or just a Saturday or Sunday off, unplug and get away from your daily grind, so you can decompress and recharge.
• Don’t just waste your leisure time. Rather than oversleep, get up promptly and do something. Spend some time interacting with your kids and spouse. Head for the hills and go hiking. Take a field trip to a historic park or to a museum. Basically, trade one type of busyness for another—this will keep you sane and create the type of memories you’ll treasure later in life.
• Plan your time off in advance. Spontaneity is great, and you should always leave some time for it. But plan the “anchor” periods (Friday night, Saturday morning, Saturday night, Sunday morning, and Sunday night), with something ready to go for each. You’ll find that leaves you with plenty of time to relax on the patio, enjoy your favorite drink, watch a little TV, and just talk.
• Power through the Sunday night blues. Most of us feel some apprehension as Monday looms, no matter how much we like our jobs. One way to keep your apprehension from growing into a full-blown case of the blues is to stay busy with something on Sunday evening. Make some memories, and you won’t have time to worry about tomorrow.
Here’s the biggest reinforcement I drew from What The Most Successful People Do on the Weekend: you have to make time for yourself and your family, even when it seems impractical. The super-busy can maintain their hard-driving lifestyle week after week only because they deliberately take time off on the weekends. They look forward to this time and jealously guard it as a refuge from their hectic work lives. You should do the same.