How to Spend Your Weekend
I like her #2 and #3 best:
2. They Don’t Go Limp.
If you spend your workweek running — or worse, flying — from place to place, you may think you want to collapse on the couch all weekend. But resist the urge: First, it’s impossible to do “nothing.” Second: Think of the logistics. Want tickets to Cirque du Soleil? So do other people. Need a babysitter? She won’t show up on a whim. Finally, research into human happiness is finding that anticipation accounts for a major chunk of the mood boost associated with any activity. One well-known Dutch study of vacationers found that holiday-goers were happier than people who weren’t taking vacations, but the increased happiness largely happened before the trips, as people anticipated the fun to come. Compare it to opening Christmas presents: The act only takes an hour, but seeing wrapped gifts under the tree stretches out the joy for weeks. If you make a reservation on Wednesday for a Saturday-night dinner at your favorite restaurant, you’ll spend the next three days imagining your pasta carbonara to come — which improves your weekend and your week.
3. They Don’t Clean the Grout.
Using the weekend to catch up on chores is probably the hardest trap to avoid. After all, if you work full-time, when else are you supposed to do the 15.1 hours (for women) or 9.6 hours (for men) of household activities that the Bureau of Labor Statistics claims the average American does each week? But housework will take all the time you are willing to give it. After all, women in 1965 spent more than 30 hours each week on housework… and we haven’t descended into complete filth since then.
So consider doing your chores during the workweek; the chores will take less time because you have less time. This will leave your weekends free for more rejuvenating activities. Throw a load of laundry in before dinner and have the kids either do the dishes after or fold. Make a quick trip to the grocery store at 8:30 p.m. on a Wednesday. The place will be so empty you’ll zoom through. If a sparkling house is important to you — and sometimes it is — then designate a short cleaning time on the weekend, perhaps on Sunday afternoon. That way, if you find yourself looking at a messy house on Saturday morning, you can tell yourself that there’s a time for cleaning, and now is not that time. When the cleaning window arrives, set an alarm and do as much as you can in an hour. When the time is up, it’s up.
Or better yet, don’t do as many chores: simplify your life, or hire/delegate.
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