Only when you know how to make weekends productive can they really be a time to relax and have fun. However, those traditional days of rest are actually filled with pressure to catch up for many working women.
If you spend Monday through Friday at the office or running our small business, you probably feel like you need to reconnect with friends and family during the weekend. At the same time, you may be wondering how to make weekends productive and fit in all the chores you were unable to squeeze in during the week.
You might think that cutting back on work would help, but the evidence suggests otherwise. One study by Pennsylvania State University found that both men and women experience more stress at home than at work.
So how can you cope with busy weekends and return to work feeling refreshed?
The suggestions below are for working women ( like you and I) who are looking for ways to make weekends MORE productive and LESS stressful.
How to Make weekends Productive While Spending More Time with Your Family
1. Plan ahead. Are you tired of Sunday night surprises? Talk with your kids on Fridays to find out when book reports are due or how many cupcakes they need to bring in for the school fundraiser. You can also get a head start on planning menus and outfits for the week.
2. Gamify tasks. Have fun while you’re taking care of business. Give your kids stickers for cleaning their room. Stop for ice cream (or pizza) after the car wash.
3. Share interests. Find activities you both enjoy doing. Sign up for parent and child yoga classes or swimming lessons. Play basketball together or Sundays, or Frisbee. Go bike-riding Saturday afternoons, game-nights, movies or backyard camping Saturday nights. The possibilities are endless!
4. Eat together. If it’s difficult to coordinate schedules during the week, ensure that you share as many meals as possible on weekends. Cook a nutritious dinner together at home and go out to your favorite restaurant for a special brunch.
5. Encourage conversation. Work on your communications. Listen closely to what your children and spouse have to say. Talk about deep subjects while you’re driving to soccer practice or to a basketball game.
6. Take outings. Use the extra hours on weekends to create lasting memories. Let your children choose whether to visit go bike-riding, go swimming or hike up a mountain. Spend time together as a family and one on one.
7. Lighten up. Many studies show that having a positive emotional connection with your family is more important than being by their side around the clock. Focus on the quality of your hours together instead of feeling guilty when you’re apart.
How to make Weekends Productive While Taking Care of Household Responsibilities
1. Clean as you go. Taking care of messes immediately and cleaning a little each day will leave with you less to do on weekends. Just 15 minutes a day may be enough to keep your home presentable in between deeper cleanings.
2. Eliminate clutter. Donate or sell items you rarely use. Housekeeping is much easier when you limit your possessions to the essentials.
3. Reduce consumption. Keep clutter from developing by limiting your shopping. Ask yourself if you really need something before you buy it. Figure in the costs of maintaining and repairing it.
4. Coordinate activities. Be strategic about doctor appointments and extracurricular activities. Try to accomplish errands with fewer trips and less miles. Batch similar tasks together like doing your laundry while you dust the living room. I have a fully automatic washing machine so all I do is add water, add detergent, add softener is the special funnel, press a button and go! The machine goes through all teh cycles, washing and spinning, rinsing and spinning, in about one hour. All I have to do after that, is put them in the dryer. While my automatic machine does the ALL the hard work, I spend my time on other essential activities such as grocery shopping. The drain is set up in such a way then the run off water from the washing machine automatically waters my plants too! That’s how to make weekends productive!
5. Cut back. Set priorities and say goodbye to old routines that add little value. You may decide to skip daily ironing or eat leftovers each Monday instead of cooking.
6. Pull together. Ask each family member to do their part to make weekends easier. Split up chores with your partner and children. Rotate jobs or pick the ones that you like most.
You can look forward to Fridays when you plan ahead and set realistic expectations. Learn how to make weekends productive and take the stress out of your weekends. That way you and your family can enjoy more peace and happiness each day, especially on weekends when you are together!