Earn your Weekends for a Sustainable Life

Create a work plan of achievable goals for the week just enough to earn your weekends. It’s a sustainable way to be productive without burning out.

A couple of weeks ago, I described how every Monday is a New Year. In that post, I described getting more out of your week by planning it on Sunday evening. Specifically, I tried planning and preparing my meals on Sunday to take the stress out of good nutrition.

What if you extended that to your feeling of contribution and self-worth?

There are many types of people in the world, and one bifurcation I like is those who concentrate on doing, and those who concentrate on being.

No hate towards those who can value themselves simply on the basis of their being – being alive, being conscious. In fact, I envy them. I however fall in the category of those who do, and I’m not alone.

Concentrate on doing, but safely.

Those who concentrate on doing tie their self-worth directly to how much they’re contributing to the people and organizations in their life. Success is a big factor in feeling good about yourself to them. Often however, you might feel you’re not doing enough or being productive enough. While that is a toxic thought process that needs to be addressed, you can temporarily alleviate your stress if you “earn your weekends”.

The idea here is to simplify lofty goals and do away with the adjoined stress. If you work a regular job, you don’t have to change the world every week if you don’t want to. You can choose to work hard enough that you don’t feel guilty about whiling away your weekend.

If you think the direction I’m taking encourages mediocrity, congratulations. You are a motivated and enthusiastic person. Start creating good habits today.

However, if you’ve encountered burnout, you should understand where I’m going. We don’t have to pressure ourselves to be ‘on’ all the time. We don’t have to work 70 hour weekends and then go hitchhiking on Saturday and run a half marathon on Sunday. You certainly can if you want to, but often our motivation comes from outer, less satisfying and forgiving sources. Lofty, unachievable goals swarm¬†around us like angry bees – they sting you and hurt you, and it doesn’t feel good.

What do I want to accomplish this week?

I’ve noticed a trend with my recent Monday posts – they’re like self-therapy, and I hope they are helpful to you, the reader, as well.

My aim this week is to do enough work in the projects I have going on that I don’t feel guilty about sleeping in on Saturday. I want to work on at least two tasks at work and finish them, and I want to write my speech for an upcoming Toastmasters contest. I also want to improve my workouts – last week I trained twice. This week I want to train four times.

We often overlook the importance of pacing yourself – we get spurred by motivation and then we work on our personal tasks till we hate them and hate ourselves. The key is sustainability, and sustainability requires the good habits of pacing, setting achievable targets, and achieving them.

Today is Monday. What are your targets this week? How do you plan to earn your weekends? Comment below.

Thank you for reading.