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July 12, 2012

60 Hours of “Your” Time: How Will You Spend it?

Filed under: General HR Buzz2:43 pm

On Monday mornings in our office, the usual greetings often include this question: “How was your weekend?”  And if your office is like most, you’ve got at least one person who says “Not long enough.” (Full disclosure: I’ve actually said this myself a time or two.)  By the time we get to Thursday, the question turns to: “What are you doing this weekend?”  Usually, answers are filled with child-centered activities, or chores around the house.

In my house, weekends are used to catch up on all the chores I couldn’t get to during the week: laundry, outdoor maintenance, organizing email and paying bills.  Every once in a while, we fit in some fun activities, but we usually don’t plan ahead for them.  Laura Vanderkam would say that I’m not making the most of my weekends: “Here’s one way to look at it: There are 60 hours between 6 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Monday. Even if you sleep for 24 of those hours, that leaves 36 hours for other things. That’s the equivalent of a full-time job. Yet many of us hit Monday morning with a vague sense of having squandered our precious downtime on activities that didn’t help us recreate.”

It stands to reason that people who are successful at work are successful at home as well.  Planning out your weekend, much like you plan out your entire week will give you the chance to orchestrate the things you want to do.  When Monday comes around, you’ll come in feeling like you actually had a few days off for yourself.

She suggests a three step process to building the kind of weekend that will make everyone in your office marvel at how relaxed you are on Monday morning.  You can read more about the process here, but here’s a quick rundown: make a list of things you want to do or have in your life (100 minimum); plan your weekend in chunks of time (Friday evening, Saturday morning, etc.), then pull 3 to 5 of your list items to plug into those time chunks; then, control the chaos by containing your “Have-to-dos” into a 2-3 hour block.  You’ll still have plenty of your weekends left for downtime in front of the TV or taking your little princess to dance class.

Here’s your chance to start this weekend right.  How many items can you add to your list?  Here’s a bigger challenge: incorporate a few of them into this weekend!



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