Do your weekends disappear in a flash? Feel like you haven’t relaxed AND haven’t got through anything on your to-do list? You might benefit from a weekend routine.
Yay – it’s Friday and the weekend’s here: time to breathe a sigh of relief and welcome in the weekend. It’s been a long week and you just want to relax and enjoy your time off. Maybe you’ve already got some weekend fun planned or maybe you just want to decide as you go.
But then you blink, and all of a sudden it’s late on Sunday, you haven’t done all those nice things you planned to do, the house is a mess, Monday morning looms and there’s nothing ready for the week ahead.
Sound familiar? It’s not just you. It’s really easy to let that happen every week and feel like you’re not making the most of your weekends. Luckily it’s also easy to fix: you just need a simple weekend routine.
What is a weekend routine?
A WEEKEND ROUTINE IS:
a way to stop your weekends disappearing in the haze of chores and catch-up which stop you from doing the fun stuff or bigger projects you actually want to do.
A WEEKEND ROUTINE IS NOT:
(or should not be!) a tightly-scheduled, joy-killing way to manage your weekend.
The aim of creating a weekend routine is to get through the necessary jobs while carving out time for relaxation and fun. It should let you balance downtime, family time and being productive with your time!
The benefits of a weekend routine
The weekends are your downtime / family time / fun time. Your weekend should allow you to relax after your busy week, while setting you up for a successful week ahead. A weekend routine can really help with this by helping you get through the stuff you NEED to do while giving you back the time to do whatever you WANT to do.
Putting a good weekend routine in place will:
- Ensure all the necessary tasks get done
- Leave you more organised for the week ahead
- Give you the time to do the fun stuff you actually want to do
- Free up time to concentrate on any weekend projects you’ve been planning
- Make your weekends calmer
- Give you back Sunday evenings as a time to relax or do an activity
- Make Mondays mornings easier
- Make the weekends feel longer because you’re not chasing your tail and starting to think about next week early on Sunday
How do I make a weekend routine?
Not sure where to start? Keep it simple. Have a quick brainstorm and note down the things that would make your weekends go more smoothly, that would make your Monday mornings easier, and that would help you to enjoy your weekends more. Once you’ve done this, you’ll have some key points to work into your weekend routine.
Below we’ll go into more detail about creating a weekend routine. But remember – this is not about planning out every hour of your weekend. You’re not creating a strict schedule for the weekend – that sounds miserable!
Also, figure out where you’re going to keep track of your weekend routine. In the notes or calendar app on your phone? In a planner or notebook? On a sheet of paper? You can download the printable template below if you’d prefer!
How to create a weekend routine
- First, make a list of the tasks you need to get done over the weekend. This could be household tasks like laundry, grocery shopping and cleaning. Most importantly, it should also include the things you need to get ready for Monday and the coming week. This stuff generally doesn’t change from week to week, so will form the backbone of your regular weekend routine.
- Then at the start of each weekend – preferably with a glass of wine as you relax on Friday night, but whenever works best for you – sit down and review what’s happening this weekend. Sports, kids’ classes, birthday parties, family events, meeting up with friends, etc. Get them all into the calendar early and then plan everything else around them.
- Once you’ve got all the scheduled and “have-to” items in, now work in the “want-to” things. Family time, outings, exercise, hobbies, a chilled evening, brunch somewhere, cocktail hour, date night, a family game or movie night, etc. Fit these in around the have-to items so you end up with an achievable outline for the weekend.
- You don’t need to have a strict timetable that you follow to the minute: that’s not the goal here. It is usually enough to simply assign things to e.g. “Saturday afternoon” rather than a specific time. It can also be really useful to set a goal for each day of the weekend. What needs to get done on Saturday? What do you have to make sure happens by Sunday night? This will change from week to week but the more you get used to thinking this way, the easier it will become.
- Check your plan and make sure the routine isn’t overscheduled. Don’t fill up your weekends with too many projects, outings and activities. You’ll just end up tired, and not feeling rested and ready for next week.
Example of a weekend routine
This simple routine is an example that would suit a family – giving a productive weekend with plenty of time to relax and enjoy.
Goal: finish the week right, relax and plan.
Essential Stuff to do: Empty school bags, take care of any school paperwork, get work and school shoes and bags tidied away for the weekend. Check schedule for the weekend and write any meal plans or shopping lists you need. Load washing machine and set timer for Saturday morning.
Want-To: Family Fajita Night and Movie
Goal for the day: Get stuff done.
Essential Stuff to do: Cleaning, shopping, and DIY projects. Fit this in around anything that’s scheduled for the day such as sports, birthday parties etc. (Set yourself a cut-off point to enjoy Saturday evening. You don’t want to be knee deep in laundry on Saturday night!)
Want-To: Meet friend for coffee, family bike ride, cocktails and takeaway on Saturday evening.
Goal for the day: Family time and prepare for next week
Essential Stuff to do: Check schedule for next week and prepare anything that can be done in advance. Get school/work clothes, shoes, bags, lunches prepped for Monday morning. Meal plan for week and order grocery delivery. (Get all this done before it’s late on Sunday evening. Give yourself time to relax and enjoy Sunday evening in order to avoid those Sunday night blues!)
Want-To: Tea or coffee in bed while kids watch cartoons, try new breakfast recipe, family outing.
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Top 10 tips for your weekend routine
- You probably already have a good idea of what are your top weekend pain points. So figure out what you really want from your weekends and use the routine to help you achieve it. Doing more or doing less? More or less time at home? A greater or fewer number of scheduled activities? Time for hobbies? Time for self-care? Intentionally planning out your weekends can go a long way to helping you get the weekend time you WANT.
- When you’re thinking about all the weekly household tasks that need to be done, figure out if any of the tasks can easily be taken care of during the week instead. This will buy you back some time at the weekend. These are some of the things I do:
– I hate having to clean my whole house during the weekends, so I try to squeeze in as much as possible during the week. 5 minutes spent dusting before you sit down in the evening is one less job to do at the weekend.
– I also make sure I do a load of laundry every day so it doesn’t all get saved up for the weekend.
– Try cleaning the shower while you’re in it. (Bonus points if you do it while you’ve got a deep conditioning treatment on your hair!)
– Clean the bathroom while the kids are having their bath.
– Book an online grocery delivery for Saturday morning – or for Friday if you’re working from home.
– Use lunch hours to run quick errands such as dropping off dry cleaning, going to the post office, picking up extra bread and milk etc.
- Get the rest of the family involved. For example – if your weekend routine includes laundry on Saturday mornings, get the kids to strip their own beds when they get up and make sure all their dirty clothes are put in the laundry basket. Assign them some chores to do with the promise of fun things to come once you’re all finished.
- Don’t panic if the plan goes off-track. Weekends are primarily for enjoying yourself, so if you get a last-minute invitation to a barbecue, then say yes with the guilt-free knowledge that your weekend routine has taken care of a lot of the weekend jobs for you.
- A new routine, just like a new habit, takes time to settle in. Inevitably, the first few weeks will have bumps in the road and you’ll need to tweak the plan to suit you and your family better. That’s a positive rather than a negative. Soon you’ll have a weekend routine that’s easy, manageable, and helps with stress rather than creating it.
- Use any small ways you can to get ahead. Load the washing machine on Friday nights and set the timer so it starts washing before you get up on Saturdays. Then all you need to do on Saturday morning is hang it out or put it in the dryer.
- When you’re cooking at the weekend, always batch cook and store extra portions in the freezer.
- Be smart with your time. If the kids are happily absorbed in something on Saturday morning, don’t stop them and rush them out the door (unless you have to be somewhere, obviously). Instead use the time to speed through some chores and get some essential things done. If you and your partner want more time for hobbies or time to yourself at the weekend, then agree to tag team watching the kids so you can both get the time you want and everyone is happy.
- Kids love routine, so get them involved in any way you can. Emptying their own school bags, sorting laundry, writing shopping lists, planning family favourite weekend meals. They also love feeling like they’re getting a treat, so think about ways to work some little rituals they’ll love into the weekend routine, such as a later weekend bedtime, movie nights, special weekend breakfasts etc.
- Don’t feel guilty about assigning time to relax. That’s part of the benefit of this exercise. If you don’t block out the time, it’s less likely to happen. Prioritise it and look forward to it!
I hope this post has been helpful in showing you how a weekend routine could benefit you and your family.
What’s your weekend routine? Has this inspired you to create one? Let me know in the comments!