Today’s Lesson: Less planning equals greater possibilities.
I don’t know about you but weekends are serious business for Nicole and me. And that is the problem. We often plan our weekends like military extraction operations.
Our list of must’s typically includes mission-critical tasks like laundry, groceries, cleaning, grooming, taking out trash, changing litter, making meals, preparing for the coming week, clothes shopping, etc. That is before anything is planned for fun or relaxation, which sometimes feels like added chores anyway (we have to be at the movies by 10, so we can have lunch at 1, to get to the beach by 3, and leave by 6 to get to the grocery store… you get the idea.).
I have found sometimes the planning leads to paralysis-by-planning. Nothing seems to get done and we are more tired at the end of the weekend than when it started. Of course, I know we are not alone.
Here is a little trick I have found works wonders (but it is REALLY tough to adhere to). Whenever I plan my weekend like this, it allows for spontaneity, adventure, and fun, and somehow the mission-critical stuff is still accomplished (or, it turns out, some of it is not actually critical and finds its way postponed into next week).
Plan no more than 3 things each day. Pick the truly “must be done” things. “Wash the car”, for example, is something that is convenient to do on weekends but not critical. If it gets done, fine. If it does not, people will judge you about your car but they were going to judge about something anyway. At least you will already know you have a dirty car.
Keep the tasks simple–so simple you can remember them all day. Saturday: Pay bills, vacuum, groceries.
Do the crucial stuff first. If nothing is more important than making sure your budget is done on Saturday, then just do it first thing. When you put it off, you waste energy worrying about it, which means when you get to it, you have less energy and focus to do it right.
Keep a list for spontaneity. It sounds counter-intuitive, but we share a list in Google Keep. Whenever we drive by a sign or place and remark, “Oh, that looks cool. We should check that out some time…” it goes on the list. Then when we find ourselves bored, saying “What do you want to do?” “I don’t know. What do you want to do?” We consult the list and pick something. The list is always growing so there is always something to do! There are parks, stores, events, bike trails, beaches, all kinds of things on our list. We don’t consult it very often (we usually know what we want to do) but it comes in handy on occasion.
I find this method of not cramming a long wish list into the weekend helpful but the hardest part is remembering to keep the weekend simple. Allow breathing room. The space between chores is where creativity, spontaneity, and even romance can occur. Otherwise, you are only extending your work week… and it is good to have a day off once in a while.