Make Your Weekends Feel Longer With This Strategy
> Slow down your perception of time by being like a kid again
As working adults, we all live for weekends. It’s our two precious days to get away from all the chaos of work and get some well-deserved rest-n-relaxation in.
But, it never really turns out that way, does it?
Our weekends always seem to get sabotaged with all sorts of shit. It’s a varied combination of things like the must-do chores of doing the laundry, cleaning the house, food shopping and yard work; attending the kid’s sports games and birthday parties; helping out with family obligations; joining random celebrations for anniversaries, house-warming, baby-showers, etc.
Our weekends are jam-packed. We go from task-to-task and event-to-event all day long on both days. And, before we know it, Sunday night rolls around and we’re prepping for the workweek.
Ugh, not only did the weekend just fly by, but it also wasn’t even that relaxing. We didn’t get much of a break or any real meaningful downtime.
Can the working world just all agree to shift to a four day work week? Please?
Unfortunately, the bad news is that getting an extra weekend day every week is not in the cards for all of us.
The good news is that there is a workaround solution to this. And, it’s quite simple - be like a kid again.
Be Like A Kid Again To Slow Down Time
Well, the reality is that nobody can slow down time. The seconds, minutes, hours, days, etc. all move forward at the same pace for all of us.
Yes, there are unique scenarios that astrophysicists have theorized where time passes at different rates in the universe of “space-time” travel. But, we’re not here to get all “Interstellar” and academic on you. We’re keeping this on Earth.
While we can’t slow down time itself, we can change how our minds perceive the speed of time passing. And, one of the best ways to do this is to mimic the days of our youth when time moved a whole lot slower.
In other words, we need to be like a kid again.
We need to bring back a few of our childhood lifestyles and behaviors into our adult world. And in doing so, we can bring back those same feelings of time moving slower.
Here are the key fundamental kid-like things we need to re-introduce into our lives.
1) Discover & Experience New Things
Think back to your childhood summer vacations. Remember how long those summer days felt? And those long days made the 2-3 months off from school feel like an eternity.
Why is that?
Well, as kids growing up, every day, week, month and year was filled with “newness” everywhere. We were all discovering new things and learning about the world around us. In this state, our minds were often absorbing tons of new information and experiences.
And, when our minds are in this state of taking in new experiences and discovering things, it’s learning and building knowledge. It’s creating new pathways and memories in the brain. And in turn, this makes time feel like it’s moving slower.
The exact opposite happens when we stick with our normal usual weekend routines of tasks and chores. Repeating the same drudgery every weekend doesn’t introduce anything different into the formula. Your brain isn’t processing or learning anything new. It’s on auto-pilot and time just flies by.
You go from Friday evening post-work exhaustion to Sunday night per-work angst in a flash. You ask yourself, “where the hell did the weekend go?”
Everything in between Friday night and Sunday evening just went by in a flash.
If you can introduce some elements of newness in your weekend, your mind’s perception of time can slow down. It doesn’t need to be something crazy and wild like wrestling crocodiles or naked sky-diving. It just has to be some new twists to change things up a bit.
Here are some examples:
- Try a new brunch spot and menu item
- Take an art or pottery class with the kids
- Sip tea instead of coffee; out on the patio
- Watch a matinee movie instead of Netflix
- Be a local tourist in another nearby town
Or, you can be like George Costanza from Seinfeld and do a total 180 degree turn and really go for a dramatic change for all new experiences.
VIDEO: The Opposite | Seinfeld | TBS
> Change is intimidating and difficult to accept
> Facing and overcoming your fears builds character
> Going against your instinct is really hard but can pay off
Adding elements of newness into your weekend routine will disengage your mental auto-pilot and turn up your awareness and sensory inputs. And while It may not slow time down as much as a typical kid, you can make the day seem to last a bit longer.
2) Fully Engage In The “Here And Now”
All children live in the moment. They’re rarely ruminating or mentally berating themselves with other things in life. When they’re playing outside, they are completely into it with all the verve and energy that the child has.
They’re not thinking about next week’s math test or why you denied them candy right before bed last night or the argument they had with their siblings that very morning. They are 100% emotionally, mentally and physically having fun - enjoying every ounce and every minute of it.
They are in the “here and now” of whatever activity they are involved in or that’s happening around them. Their antenna, ears and eyes are all cranked up to high sensitivity. They’re giving it their full attention and getting back the same in return.
Try getting a kid “coloring” on an iPad to respond to a question. Ha! No parent has gotten an answer from their kid on the first ask - ever.
Back in our days when coloring actually involved real crayons and paper, we did the same thing to our parents. We were in another world. Our minds were deep into the activity.
This is what we mean by being “fully engaged” and in the “here and now” of whatever we’re doing. Our minds are focused on the task or activity at hand.
And when we’re fully engaged and really paying attention to a singular event, time feels like it moves slower.
Here’s a commonly cited example that really hits home for a lot of us. It’s an extreme example of how being fully aware slows down time.
If you’ve ever been involved in a car accident or a near-collision, your mind is so intensely focused on the moment that time slowed down dramatically - like into super slow motion.
You see things frame-by-frame.
You hear the finest details.
You feel the changes around your body.
Because you’re in a life-threatening situation, your mind is 100% focused on the emergency and taking everything in so that it can instantly react to save your life.
Ron Burgundy’s news team from the Anchorman movies has experienced this first hand. Their RV roll-over accident was quite a doozy. Take a look.
VIDEO: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues - RV Crash Scene
> Cruise control isn’t auto-pilot
> Wearing seat belts were optional back in the day
> RV roadtrips are pretty damn fun
Now, we’re definitely not saying that you should put yourself in danger in order to slow down your perception of time. In fact, doing so will probably just end time for you altogether.
The point that we’re emphasizing here is that when you’re fully engaged in something new and not thinking about anything else, you can achieve a similar feeling of time moving more slowly.
3) Minimize To-Do’s & Commitments
In order to discover and experience new things (point #1) and fully engage in activities (point #2), we need to avoid our so-called “commitments” and cut-back on the number of to-do’s that we have on our weekends (that’s point #3 here).
The fact is that we can’t do everything and be everywhere all at the same time. What we need to do is be more like the kids we all used to be.
Think back again to your elementary school years.
Your weekends weren’t booked out a month in advance like it is now. In fact, as a kid, the only real weekend commitments you probably had were the occasional birthday party or team sports game (if you played in any sports).
Most of all your weekend activities were usually spur-of-the-moment decisions like having a sleep-over at your besties place. For the most part, your childhood weekends were fairly open and flexible.
Now, as a grown-up, it’s a totally different story.
Our weekends are packed with all sorts of must-do chores, kid’s parties/games, promised attendance at social events and other gatherings, etc.
As adults, we don’t have enough time for all the things that we need to do, much less want to do. However, for kids, the whole concept of time is more of an abstract thing, so we’re the ones having to always keep them on track.
“It’s time to wake up”
“It’s time to leave for the party”
“It’s time to go home”
“It’s time to eat”
“It’s time to go to sleep”
If we left it to kids, weekends would be purely free-form without time-bound limitations. And, it’s this free-form timeless mindset that helps to make time feel more bountiful to them and not limited.
What we need to do is minimize our weekend commitments so that we have more room for the things that really matter. The things that will make our weekends feel longer - trying new things and being fully engaged in fewer activities.
There will always be a couple of truly must-do tasks or events that will take up a slice of time during the weekend. Only the most important and mandatory events should be allowed to take up precious weekend time. Everything else should be punted.
Helping your cousin move to a new house?
Fuck no, tell her to hire movers.
Going to a coworker’s friend’s BBQ party?
You don’t even know him. No thanks, pass.
Go shopping for a new vacuum cleaner?
Really? Just buy it online and be done with it.
You get the idea here. You’ve gotta be strict with yourself and learn to say no, decline and eliminate all non-essential, unimportant tasks, events and activities during your weekends.
Don’t give any of them a chance to hold a tentative “maybe” spot on your calendar - that’s just the people-pleaser inside of you. Be clear and straight up, say no to all that shit.
If you do this enough and consistently, you’ll win back and protect a lot more of the weekend hours than ever before. And all that extra free-form time can be put to much better use.
Our Step-By-Step Strategy
Understanding the three fundamental components to make your weekend feel longer is one thing. It’s totally another challenge to truly execute on it and stick with it over the long term.
We’ve been through this enough times that we’ve devised a general framework that you can follow to keep you on track and improve the chances that you’ll get more of that “long weekend” feeling than ever before.
Step #1: Take Care Of Weekend Chores During The Week
This first step is absolutely critical in opening up more time on your weekend. During the week, say Tuesday through Thursday (because Mondays are such an effin’ bitch), you’ll want to knock out as many of your usual weekend chores and to-do’s.
Yes, it’ll cramp your workweek a little bit more than usual. However, the gains that you’ll get on the weekend will more than make up for it. And, if you distribute and break up the chores into smaller chunks, it’s much easier to deal with.
This is a two part strategy of outsourcing and doing chores. The ultimate goal here to free up more hours for fun and relaxation.
Automate & Outsource Time Consuming Chores
One idea we promote often is to outsource and/or automate weekend chores that can be handled by outside services. There are so many home-delivery and home-related services available that you can pretty much outsource nearly everything.
For example, rather than spending two hours on your Sunday going to the supermarket to do your usual weekly food shopping, set-up an automated weekly food shopping and delivery service. We all usually by the same shit every week anyways.
Services like Instacart or AmazonFresh can automate this weekly chore and can be huge time-savers. Yes, it’ll be a little more expensive than doing it yourself, but it’s not going to break the bank. You’ll get a lot more time for yourself in exchange for nominal added cost.
Other chores worth outsourcing are heavy house cleaning and yard work. Hire a cleaning team to come by every week or bi-weekly to do disaster recovery house cleaning. Do likewise for mowing the lawn, raking leaves, etc. Quality and prices will vary among service providers, so check reviews and try out a few before settling on one. It’s worth every single penny.
Whatever big chores that you normally do on the weekend, take a serious look at how much time you devote to that task, then check the availability and feasibility of outsourcing it.
Divvy Up Chores Into Smaller Chunks
For the chores that you can’t outsource, it comes down to two choices. Do them yourself (if you don’t have kids) or get the family team to join in. In either case, it’ll be best to break up the chores into smaller chunks and/or spread them over the week.
For those that are the Chief Family Officer, you need to communicate to the team that everyone needs to contribute a bit during the week so that the weekends will be more fun for everyone. This means that your significant other and/or kid(s) need to do their part.
Rather than doing a mountain of laundry on the weekends yourself, have the team do smaller, more frequent loads during the week. These smaller loads are much faster to deal with and far easier to manage.
If your kid can figure out how to download and install an app and learn a new game all within five minutes, then they can learn how to do their own laundry and put it all away. Take the time to teach them and you’ll have a valuable team contributor.
If you don’t have kids, this same principle still applies.
Take those big weekend chores and break them up into smaller more manageable tasks that you can do in the evening after work. By breaking down and shifting weekend chores to the weekday evenings, you can really make a big difference in opening up more free time on the weekend.
Step #2: Friday night - Make It A Chillaxing Night
By the time Friday evening finally comes around, most of us are so spent and exhausted from the stresses of the workweek that we barely have the energy to even drive home, much less go out.
But, there’s a smaller group of weekend warriors eager to par-tay. Going out like a party animal may be fun and a great way to blow off steam from the workweek, but the rest of your weekend will be wasted on recovering.
Don’t do it. You’re not in your 20’s anymore.
The best way to kick-off the weekend is not with a big bang but with an easy, relaxing, stress-free night. So, don’t bother with preparing and cooking dinner. Instead, order take-out or delivery and munch at home.
Or even better, check Yelp or Google for any new restaurants close to home. This is a great way to inject a little “newness” at the start of your weekend.
Step #3: Saturday - Small Chores, Minimal Commitments & Try One New Thing
A lot of us will put off our chores until Sunday because we’d much rather do fun stuff first on Saturday. However, this only delays the inevitable and makes Sundays more grim than they have to be.
If you’ve successfully completed your bigger normal weekend chores ahead of time during the week, then the only remaining chores that should be left are those smaller ones that can only be done on the weekend. Get these done in the morning and out of the way for a clear rest of the weekend.
Yes, this means that you can’t snooze and sleep in. Just get up within an hour of your normal weekday wake up time and clear those last errands and tasks.
For those with kids, there’s the unavoidable sports game or birthday party to attend. Sometimes, you’ll get hit with a double-whammy of a game and a birthday party. If so, that’s it - no other commitments are allowed for that day.
Leave the rest of the day and evening for open unstructured play time for you and your kids (if you have them). It’s during this open time that you can choose to explore new experiences. And, be fully engaged in it. The combination of the two will make this day feel longer.
With the added open and flexible time, you can opt to try cooking some new dishes for the family. Or, head out for the evening and check out something totally different that you’ve never done, seen or tried before but always had a curiosity about it.
It’s new discoveries and experiences like…
- Joining a meetup group in your fav hobby
- Savoring a craft beer or custom cocktail at a lux bar
- Writing a one-page short story about your craziest dream
- Attending a live theatre or film event at a local college
- Making something in any kind of crafting class
Noticeably absent is anything online related. Most of your waking hours during the week is connected to the matrix. Use this time to unplug and be a part of the real world for a change.
Step #4: Sunday - No Chores, Minimal Commitments & Another New Thing
It’s all too easy to sleep in on Sunday mornings. It’s almost traditional and expected. It’s okay to sleep in for a little bit but don’t go overboard and sleep three hours past your normal weekday wake-up time. This is only going to mess up your sleep cycles and your Monday start is going to royally suck.
Instead, wake-up within an hour of your normal weekday morning wake-up time. This will give you an extra bit of zzz’s but won’t jack up your sleep patterns too much.
You shouldn’t have any chores or household tasks to do on this day. With the exception of one or two true commitments, your day should be wide open for unstructured fun stuff.
This is your chance to really dive deep into one new activity or experience. Don’t go overboard and try to conquer the world here. There’s no need to spend big money either.
And, put away the phone when you’re being a part of the experience. Take it all in without the buzzing and chirping of your phone. Remember, it’s all about feeding your mind with something out of the ordinary, non-routine and being fully engaged with it.
You can also incorporate small new twists into your day.
- Take an alternate route to your destination
- Strike up a conversation with a stranger
- Drink a super healthy green smoothie
- Compliment the checkout cashier or server
- Stop and really listen to the sounds of Mother Nature
What you’ll start to notice is that doing small new things can sometimes trigger momentum to other new learning experiences that were totally unexpected and out of the blue.
It’s weird how the universe works sometimes.
“Less Is More” On Weekends
You’ve heard the cliche “Less Is More” and it really hits the mark here. When we’re successful in cutting out all the bullshit stuff that we need, should or must do on our weekends, it gives us more of what we really want - more time for true relaxation.
And when we’re able to press pause on life and really unwind and escape our mundane repetitive weekend routines and have 100% pure undistracted fun, we feel like kids again and our perception of time slows down.
Hone this skill often enough and every weekend will feel more like a three day weekend instead of a flash in the pan.
Get started this week.
Knock out the chores.
Cut out the unimportant.
Be a kid again.
Feed your mind with newness.
Immerse yourself in the experience.
We know you can do this.
Start small and feed your brain with just one or two new things next weekend. Remember, it doesn’t have to be something completely earth-shattering and new - any small new experience and being “all-in” on it is all that’s required.
These small new things will start a little domino effect that tricks your mind into trying another new thing and so on. And, before you know it, you’ll be living life the way it was meant to be...like a kid. 😉