"What did you do at the weekend?" Mmm...
Friday evening in the bar
YOU: “I’m finally ready to make that change. I’m frustrated about where am I and I’m now ready to focus and dedicate myself to what I’ve been saying I’m going to do for years.”
WORK FRIEND: “Amazing! Go for it. You’ll be great in whatever you put your mind to”.
YOU: “I’m so excited and ready. I can’t believe that I waited this long to do this!”
Monday morning at work
WORK FRIEND: So, how was your weekend? How did it go?
YOU: Oh, I didn’t do anything this weekend.
WORK FRIEND: …….
Does this conversation sound familiar? Have you been wanting to finally make that change and really move out of that frustrating 2nd gear with your “projects/situation” and cruise in 5th gear and enjoy the fruits of your labour? But yet again, you’ve not had enough time, or energy or money or…...
So where do you go from here?
We need to own our weekends. So many of us spend Monday to Friday so focused on how we can best use our time, energy and resources. The work gets completed, the emails get sent and the deadlines are met. Yet when it comes to our own projects, be it finally finally organizing the house, going to that museum you’ve been wanting to go to for years but never quite had the time or starting your own business; our time, energy and resources are suddenly not available as soon as the clock hits 5pm on a Friday evening.
Meaning that even if we’ve had the most fun or just stayed in and watched too much Netflix, because that’s want “we needed”. We still berate ourselves on Sunday evening, for not having had enough fun, or too much and again, not having done anything, again, to look for that new job or to research the courses you are thinking about doing. You feel frustrated again. Annoyed at yourself again. And you wonder when will you ever have the time, energy and resources to make this thing that you’re really motivated about doing; a reality.
You work hard, you have a social life and commitments, you exercise (or at least try to) and you obviously need to actually relax at some point in the week. So when you don’t have a wedding/birthday party to go to, or a long-overdue dinner or reunion to attend, it’s fine that you spent the weekend doing nothing. Right? Right?
When I ask my British friends “what did you do at the weekend”? It’s not uncommon for them to say “nothing”. When I ask my Spanish friends the same question. Their response is “I relaxed”. Wow. Such a small shift in perspective but such a powerful shift. They made a choice how to spend their weekend. They chose to “relax”. Rather than just let the hours on the sofa guiltily clock up, they choose that much needed relaxation time. They own their weekend.
I believe our weekends say a whole lot about our character. The adventures we get up to, the time we get up, the people we do or don’t meet up with. But are you in a weekend “rut” where you’re not satisfied with how you spent your weekend? Either you didn’t do anything, or you did too much and you need another weekend?
I have a friend who now has a rule that she chooses to only have one plan a day at the weekend. This means that through making the active decision to choose her weekend, she has more time to spend the weekend how she really wants to. Relaxing, with friends, alone or working on her new project. And starts her Mondays, more rested, satisfied and more in control of her week ahead.
Can you learn anything from that? I certainly have! I have learnt to ask myself the following questions about my weekends and I would encourage you to ask yourself these questions:
Is the way you’re currently planning and spending your weekends helping you?
What do you really have time to do? What do you really have the energy to do?
If another weekend passes and you didn’t dedicate even a little time towards “x” how would that feel when you went to bed on Sunday evening?
What truly are your priorities?
If you really want to change, you have to make changes.
I used to be very precious of my weekends. Not doing any “work” over the week. I would run around all week, to make sure that everything is completely in order so that as soon as Friday came I could truly enjoy them. And that was great. Except for two things. I was ridiculously tired at the weekends after running around like a headless chicken trying to get everything done. And I was never advancing my career or business. And this mattered.
Until one day, I did the “how many hours are there really in a week” game. And my calculations led me to the conclusion that if I excluded those 48 weekend hours, I was never going to be able to put in enough time. So I made the change. And the progress I have been able to make in my own projects has increased, and now visibly so.The very fact that you’re reading this is proof of my progress!
I still have social commitments and relaxation time, but I make sure that some work time, just as a coffee and a chat with a friend used to be written into my diary, is scheduled into the weekend. Sometimes it’s just an hour, sometimes a whole day. Perhaps I complete some project work, or give a group workshop or sometimes just “study”. I appreciate that this stuff might seem obvious to you. And if it is my question to you is...so how are your “extra” projects going?
My challenge to you. Try and start to choose your weekends. Plan in relaxation time, plan in “project” time. Truly commit to that change, and make a little change to your weekend habits.
Remember if you want change, you need to make change.
A little change can make all the difference. No change makes no difference.
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