An easy question coupled with an easy answer, and probably one of the most unoriginal but open-ended Monday interrogation that everyone loves to ask. You undoubtedly rattle off a laundry list of activities and things you got involved in without hesitation, proving those two days of sweet relaxation got filled with more happenings than the previous five days combined. And you have no qualms about sharing it with anyone who asks. The thing is, what you fill your weekend with is generally only super cool to you and maybe those who you share the experience with. People like your current (or future) boss and/or client don’t share the same level of excitement as you recap how you dillydallied your way into Monday.
Why am I even talking about how your boss or clients probably don’t care? Because what you spend your time on now directly impacts your immediate future.
As long as you’re happy with how you filled your time, then screw it, it doesn’t matter how others judge your weekend from 1 to 10, right? True, but only to a limited extent –it’s important to understand this isn’t about what you filled your time with, it’s about how you filled it, and whether you made good use of your weekend in a way that will benefit you now or later on. We’re talking nothing more than some productivity. How’d you fare?
Getting the short end of the stick
Whether we consider Saturday and Sunday just an extension of Monday through Friday (in other words you never stop hustling) or we don’t, most of us somehow seem to fall short. We’re all too familiar with the “that weekend blew by, I feel like I didn’t get anything done” phrase. Truth be told, it’s probably because you really didn’t get anything done.
To circle back a bit, I asked earlier how your weekend fared using productivity as your benchmark. But it goes a bit further: how did you fare productivity-wise in areas that will help you grow as a person? What we focus on has a big impact on how life plays out. In other words, you could spend every weekend applying yourself 100% towards cleaning your apartment, leaving it literally dust and dirt free. A year down the road, what will that get you besides a super clean place? Honestly, not much. Are you following?
About half of us complain we’re always busy and don’t have time to explore our true passions. The other half complain how they’re always busy doing productive things but don’t ever seem to get anywhere. As confusing and counter-productive as that sounds, why is that the case?
Do you feel like you aren’t propelling forward?
In order to understand it, let’s break the weekend down into one of two categories you probably fall into.
“The I Blew The Weekend Off To Relax, I Deserve It” Category
That’s cool, this is a perfectly acceptable answer. Everyone deserves some time to decompress, relax, and not do a lick of anything for give and take 48 hours. Sometimes, we’re so busy trying to create a life and schedule for ourselves we forget we have the ability to do absolutely nothing, and damn does it feel good. I don’t believe sitting in front of the TV on occasion over a good series or movie is devil’s play, and you should use activities like these as a breakup to your general routine. Just don’t make it the norm. Take the weekend off, enjoy doing nothing, and don’t feel guilty over it. But if you begin to have the attitude that you deserve it when you really don’t (and you do this weekend after weekend), then you’re creating an avalanche that will snowball into nothing more than laziness and a stagnant lifestyle. If your Monday through Friday only pays the bills, and most weekends are spent doing nothing, do the math. Put another way, if every weekend turns into blowing off life for two days before it begins again Monday morning, you can’t expect to get that far ahead.
“The I Stayed Productive Doing Everything But What Gets Me Ahead in Life” Category
You cleaned your place, washed your car, prepped your food for the week, took the dogs to the dog park, attended the wedding, hung out with your friend for their birthday, organized your bookshelf, did laundry, and the weekend is now done. Whew! What a solid, packed weekend.
Congrats, you stayed super busy. But what exactly did you do in this time that got you one step closer to your goals and dreams? Production is good – doing stuff when you don’t feel like it is a monumental step in the right direction to living a lazy-free, constructive life. Activities such as cleaning your place and doing laundry are unavoidable, and hanging with friends is of course a great way to let off steam and connect with those closest to you. But if you find yourself doing 10 things and none of them relate to personal development or helping you grow in any way, take a closer look as to why.
If every weekend of yours stays super productive but you aren’t making the time to explore paying passions or even areas you want to explore full-time because your current job sucks, what are you waiting for? “Miracles” (some call it “luck or chance”, but we can call it “good breaks”) only happen when you adequately prepare for the opportunities. Let me say that again: you can’t prepare for any opportunities if you’re not making an effort to learn and get ready for them.
Why Your Time is Valuable
Your weekend consists of almost 29% of your time in a week. Factor in taking it easy on Friday evenings like most people do, and you’re generally accounting for 32% of your time in a given week. This means roughly 1/3 of your time in a year is lost opportunity to get shit done that will make your life more successful, should you waste it. Put another way, you’re losing out on over 100 days in a year of prime opportunity. I liken it to those who are steadfast on their nutrition. During the week, they pay attention to nutrition, following it to a T. Then the weekend hits, and suddenly the calories don’t count. Since we all know that’s crap and they do, almost 1/3 of your entire diet is shot. Then you wonder why your results aren’t coming as quickly as you want, if at all. Apply that same example to staying productive on what you do.
If you do a good job Monday through Friday, make it a point to keep that momentum going through the weekend on some level. If your week-day job that pays the bills is demanding enough, it can be hard to find the time to explore outlets. This is where the weekend is your friend. Unless you work as a junior Investment Banker or run your own business (which is awesome; the owning your own business part), the weekend is generally yours. Throw in some non-fiction books related to areas you find interesting and want to explore for even just 30 minutes. Sit down and Google some stuff you’ve been dying to dig into before you go meet up some friends. Head over to meetup.com and search for events in your area related to topics you find fascinating.
Just make use of your time in a way that benefits your long-term growth, for the love of all things holy.