Free Your Weekend for These Family Bonding Activities
When it’s finally 5:00 pm on Friday, no one wants to be thinking about work, or completing all their cleaning chores over the upcoming weekend. Of course, when life gets busy, you may find yourself allocating more and more of your precious weekend time to an endless list of tasks.
Research tells us that getting some weekend R&R can actually help boost your productivity and sense of wellbeing during the week, especially if your weekend can be spent doing fun things with your family. In fact, carving out time for family bonding brings even more benefits of its own. In order to receive all these benefits, however, you’ll need to make sure that you’re setting yourself up for success during the week itself.
The Power of Planning
So how can you plan your weekend so that it becomes distraction-free? While this is often easier said than done, time coach Elizabeth Grace Saunders at Harvard Business Review shares a few great tips for planning for your weekend. One of her main recommendations is to schedule every aspect of your work during the week, blocking out sections of time on your calendar for any task that requires complex thought or dedicated focus.
Saunders also recommends “frontloading” your week, by booking your schedule the most heavily on Monday, Tuesday, and even Wednesday. Ideally, your Friday afternoons should be dedicated to wrapping up existing projects, and getting ready for a weekend of relaxing activities.
Here are some other tips to keep in mind when planning your weekend:
· Set your priorities each week. Catherine Beard of The Blissful Mind provides several ways to set your priorities each week in this blog post. When you simply take a moment to list all of your top needs – including any major appointments, events, or tasks – you can decide exactly when to schedule them and get everything done.
· Carve out 30 minutes on Friday to review how you did. Never underestimate the power of a good check-in with yourself! In order to prevent frantic weekend calls or additional work over the break, reserve at least half an hour each Friday to finish up any remaining tasks, and then reschedule or delegate the rest for next week.
· Delegate tasks whenever possible. Whether it’s organizing a meeting or cleaning the house, you may need to delegate certain tasks to other people in order to make time for yourself. With the explosion in our service economy, it’s easier than ever to get meal prep kits, schedule cleaning services, or seek assistance with just about any task.
Find Time for Family Bonding
Now that your weekend is (hopefully) looking clear, it’s time to plan for some family activities to make the most of your time! Simple everyday activities like eating dinner together and getting active have the most powerful impact on a family’s happiness and health, but there are many other ways you can connect with your loved ones during the weekend.
A few of our favorite family bonding activities include:
· Dedicating one day to playing “tourist” in your own home town. Vacations are wonderful, but they can also be expensive and complicated to plan. Instead, try designating a “tourist day” in your home town or a neighboring city, and let the kids join in on the planning fun. You’ll be amazed how much more connected you’ll feel to your local roots, too!
· Spend some time in the garden. The kids may groan at first, but spending some quality time in a family garden can be a psychologically rewarding way to pass the weekend. Small kids can enjoy getting a little messy, while older kids learn how to care for their very own tomato and basil plants. Best of all, you’ll get to enjoy the literal fruits of your labors in a few months.
· Plan for a fun scavenger hunt. It can be time-consuming to plan a scavenger hunt around your neighborhood or home, but getting to watch your kids run around and solve problems is well worth the effort. Try to stick to only 5 steps at most for efficiency’s sake, and focus on building creative challenges rather than long and intricate plans.
· Try out an escape room or a collaborative team-building activity. The family is the first team we ever join, so it’s important to make it feel like an inclusive space for everyone. If you’re looking for things to do this weekend, consider planning a small team-building exercise, whether that means going for a fun escape room challenge or lighthearted competitions in the park.
Delegate the Cleaning to Us
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