When the weekend rolls around, most of us want to park it on the couch and binge on Netflix for the next 48 hours. The weeks are long, the weekends are short.
Part of the problem is that we’re not working smart during the week, according to Peggy Duncan, a personal productivity expert. We overwork ourselves and push off any weekend organization until it’s too late. Her solution to banishing weekend laziness? Create a targeted to-do list over the course of the week.
That might seem like a tall order. Adding one more thing to do, during your hectic, jam-packed week? Don't get overwhelmed: You can work on it all week long. Items on the list could include errands, such as visiting the grocery store or dry cleaners, or social or family events. You can even schedule time for yourself, Duncan said. But having a to-do list will help you organize your thoughts and your weekend — and save you time.
For instance, if you see that you need to go to two stores in the same area, you can plan to visit both at the same time, rather than driving back and forth during the day.
“When you make your list, do the things that are in the same area before you move to a different area,” Duncan explained.
The key is to keep your list somewhere convenient — like a phone or even a magnetic board on your fridge — so that you can keep adding to it throughout the week. If you wait until Friday night to make your list, you’ll increase your chances of leaving something important off, Duncan said.
And to make sure you’re able to accomplish everything on your list, you can use a few other tricks as well: Try making a calendar of any scheduled events, Duncan said, so you can visualize your weekend and make sure you leave enough travel time to get there.
Another trick? “Commit to someone else,” Duncan advised. Have an accountability partner for items on your list, so you’re more likely to get that task done. For instance, tell a co-worker that you’re organizing your closet that weekend and promise to bring them a picture to show them on Monday, she suggested.
You can even reward yourself for checking off items on the list. But by staying organized with your goals, you’ll prevent weekend laziness from creeping in. And you'll feel much less stress by the time Monday rolls around.
For more simple tips to improve your life, sign up for our One Small Thing newsletter!