I was out running errands last Saturday, just happy to get out of the house after being cooped up inside with nasty weather all week, and on the drive I called my brother — hands-free headset, of course. He asked what I was up to.
“Running errands,” I said.
“Whoah, man,” he said, the tone of his voice indicating there was some serious problem. “Weekends are not for errands.”
Of course, I was immediately defensive. Where did this sanctimonious tone come from?
“Hey, come on, I’m just happy to get out of the house, even if it is a Wal-mart run.”
“No,” he says.
“I’m buying beer.”
“Not good enough. You need to get all your crap jobs done during the week and keep your weekends open for adventure.”
I’m thinking, Yeah, right, how is that possible? I get up at the butt crack of dawn, drink a pot of coffee to survive the day, then fight my way to bed on most days of the week. If there were a zombie apocalypse, it seems like I’d get shotgunned (like Bill Murray in Zombieland) on half the weekdays.
About that time in our call the traffic on the road around me got stupid, so I jumped off the call, a little irritated that I didn’t get a quality call in with my brother on my admittedly boring drive to Wal-mart. If both lanes of the road I was on were clear, I would have called my buddies Ryan or Brian, but instead I chewed on what he said. Was it even possible? It wasn’t a bad idea. I called him back.
“You’re right,” I admitted. “That’s a damn good rule.”
How It Works
Most of us, it seems, just try to get through the work week, and only on rare occasions — when you consider the entire 52-week year — manage to do something kickass on the weekends. Instead, we work, eat, clean, tinker, and waste time watching dumb shows on TV. And the weekend? We mow the lawn, fix the fence, wash the pickup, or run errands to Wal-mart and trick ourselves into believing that a 15-minute drive with blue sky is nice.
What if, for example, you stopped mowing the lawn on the weekends? What if you mowed it Wednesday or Thursday? At first thought, you’d save 1-2 hours of lawn mowing time, right?
If you get it done during the work week, you’ll save an entire weekend day. That means you can bust out somewhere on Saturday or Sunday and you don’t even have to make it home before dark to mow the lawn. You’ve got an entire day to work with.
What’s better, by mowing the lawn on Wednesday, you have at least an hour where you can not only be aware of the upcoming weekend, but you can turn your thoughts to what you’re going to do on the weekend. The simple act of changing a chore can help you plan better (and half the battle of doing more is planning).
The same goes for grocery shopping, shopping for anything, and miscellaneous errands or household chores.
If you have a family, you’ll need to get them on board, too, namely your wife. If she wants to get out more often as well, that Sunday trip to the grocery store needs to move to Thursday instead (which is handy, actually, because if you bust out for a weekend trip, you can leave Friday after work and already have the sausage dogs, beer, and buns on hand).
This is an amazing idea.
It’s even better as a rule, as a system of managing the pesky things that get in the way of living. I’m implementing it now, and heck yes, my life will improve in just one week.