For many, Monday through Friday is an absolute whirlwind; a juggling act of commitments and obligations from work life, to school, home-life and everything in between. With weekdays jam-packed from sunup to sundown, many are left with cramming household responsibilities into the two weekend days, which ultimately takes you away from your well-deserved personal / family time.
I am fortunate in that I am now home during the day and can often accomplish standard household tasks during “working hours”. However, having been a full-time commuting professional, I can understand and respect the struggle.
In an effort to minimize the dreaded household chores that tie you down on the weekends, I have identified ten simple steps that you can implement during the work week to finally take back your Saturdays and Sundays!
1. Do 1 load of laundry, 2 days/nights a week: While most households average far more than 2 loads of laundry per week, knocking out a little bit at a time (either after work or throughout the day) will make a big difference when the weekend comes around.
2. Use the other 3 days / nights to focus on one other task: Conquering one item per day, such as bathroom cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, etc. is far less stressful and time consuming than cramming everything into one or two days on the weekend.
3. Stick to a routine: Once Step 1 and Step 2 have been established, keep these designated days consistent. For example, dedicating Tuesdays and Thursdays as “laundry nights” will help to create a routine that you can become accustomed to, which will ultimately hold you accountable for getting the task done.
4. Assign responsibilities: Have each member of the family share in the household responsibilities. School age children can perform simple tasks such as gathering the laundry, collecting the trash for take-out, emptying the dishwasher, etc., while one spouse can manage the groceries and the other can take care of the laundry.
5. Pick up groceries & other necessities on your lunch break or on the drive home: Using your time wisely during the work day or along your commute will significantly cut back on the time spent on tedious activities during your downtime.
6. Consider a grocery delivery / mail order service: If afternoon or post-work stops are not feasible for you, consider a service such as PeaPod or Amazon Prime Pantry that delivers groceries, toiletries and other necessities directly to your door at a time that is convenient for you.
7. Make a work week / school week list: Write down commitments and tasks that need to get done within that given week to ensure that you don’t forget, inadvertently delaying said activities to the weekend.
8. Outline a weekend calendar: Prevent overbooking yourselves by outlining pre-existing plans, commitments and tasks prior to the weekend. This will ensure gaps in your weekend schedule for much needed downtime.
9. Get adequate sleep: Many of us develop sleep debt throughout the work week, leading us to attempt to catch up on the weekends. While there is nothing wrong with a Saturday nap or lazy Sunday, prioritizing sleep during the week will allow you to more actively participate in family fun on your days off.
10. Don’t stress: If a task or chore doesn’t get done during the week or on a particular weekend, it is okay! Household chores are important, but significantly less so than family time.
I hope these ten steps will help you to recapture the lost weekends that you work so hard for. Now is it Saturday yet!?!