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When the weekend rolls around, it can be hard to accomplish everything on your to-do list, especially when you’re exhausted from the long work week.
“When you don’t plan ahead, the weekend slips through your fingers,” time-management expert Julie Morgenstern told TODAY. She is an internationally renowned organizer and author of "Time Management from the Inside Out."
Her tip for a productive weekend? Think about your weekend in seven blocks, or units:
- Friday night
- Saturday morning
- Saturday afternoon
- Saturday evening
- Sunday morning
- Sunday afternoon
- Sunday evening
Figure out what you want to do in each of these blocks, whether that’s physical exercise, errands or chores, social time with family or pursuing a passion, Morgenstern said. A quick shorthand to prioritize your weekend is what Morgenstern calls the PEP formula: Make sure you’re scheduling time for "P," physical health, "E," escapes (hobbies or passions) and "P," people.
And you don’t have to schedule every block — a few of them can be left for downtime or decompression time, Morgenstern explained.
The best time to plan this 7-block weekend? Earlier than you think. Morgenstern said that, in an ideal world, you have at least your “social” blocks figured out by Sunday of the weekend before.
“On the weekend, you have ostensibly a little more leisure time,” Morgenstern explained. If you’re able to plan a few fun social events for the next weekend, like tickets to a show or reservations at a restaurant, you’ll also have something to look forward to during the week, when you would otherwise be too busy to set up plans.
And try not to cram too much into your other blocks, Morgenstern said. You may be able to fit in a 45-minute exercise session and two hours of errands one morning, for example, but you shouldn’t try to stuff too much into one block. If you do, you’ll find it hard to gear yourself up for everything in that block, and if you miss one thing, you may feel like a failure, Morgenstern said. Aim instead for simplicity.
Morgenstern suggested planning your weekend in advance will save you the trouble of trying to plan after an exhausting workday and ensure that you have a productive, recharging weekend.