Does the idea of having an unproductive weekend fill you with anxiety?
You’re not the only one.
In our fast-paced world, we’ve been conditioned to think that any free time is time wasted. After all, time is money, and free time can be put to good use by working to make more of it — right?
Even if we wanted that to be the case, our brains aren’t designed to be on a high-drive for long periods of time, and all that hard work will eventually burn our minds and bodies out, leading to poor health, lowered productivity or even mental health disorders like depression.
Needless to say, recharging over the weekend will do you a world of good, and if you’re not sure how to be unproductive, allow us to help you out.
It’s time to turn off the notifications, close the door and take a deep breath so you can…
1. Stop checking your work emails
Do you ever feel your heart rate increase each time you receive an email notification on your smartphone?
If you tend to have a hard time holding back from checking your email when you’re off duty, it’s time to consider nipping this habit in the bud.
And you can start by turning off all your email notifications that snap you out of your weekend mindset. If you need to, set aside 15-30 minutes to check and respond to emails, but we recommend not checking your emails at all.
This’ll help keep your mind off work as well as the stress that may come with it.
2. Turn off your smartphone
It seems like everyone’s glued to their smartphones now, and it’s not difficult to see why — just about our entire lives are on it and we can do just about anything with it.
But this doesn’t mean that you need to have your phone on you 24/7.
Try put your phone away for the weekend so you can focus on being mindful and present for yourself and the people in your life.
It’ll feel like a struggle at first, but you might just be surprised to find that being without those digital handcuffs even just for an hour will leave you feeling more at ease and relaxed, which is what your weekend’s supposed to do.
3. Try cooking an intricate recipe
There’s a reason why food delivery services are flourishing and more of us are looking for quick recipes that we can whip up in minutes — we have so little time to spend time in the kitchen.
This weekend, make it your mission to try out one recipe that will take more than 30 minutes to make, that you can share with your friends or family.
You can even make it into a family activity and get them to help out with the prep work, such as chopping the vegetables and marinating the ingredients.
4. Read a book
When was the last time you read a book?
And we don’t mean skimming through an article on your smartphone or spending five minutes on a book only to be distracted by something else later on.
What we mean is to really set aside time get comfy on your favourite sofa, dive into a book and immerse yourself in it.
It’s a whole other world inside there, and you’ll be surprised at how much you can go on when you don’t have anything else planned for an unproductive weekend.
5. Get outside
Immersing yourself in nature has great health benefits and has been proven to reduce stress levels.
The Japanese have a term for it: Forest-bathing.
This practice is meant to allow you to be in nature, experience its lush greenery and breathe in plenty of fresh air. This is your cue to try going for a hike this weekend, where you’ll be surrounded by nature and quiet calm.
This exercise will also take you away from being glued to your smartphone at least for the few hours that you’re in the thick of the forest.
No access to a forest trail? Go for a long walk around your neighbourhood or go for a leisurely swim.
Physical activity creates endorphins, also known as your happy hormones. And if you’ve been sitting on a chair all week working, it’ll do your health a world of good to get physical during the weekend.
6. Plan to focus on just one thing
Are you guilty of constantly packing in too many activities during the weekend and then end up feeling burnt out by Sunday evening?
If you’ve answered “yes”, here’s your Blissfully Unproductive Weekend Challenge: Leave your weekend free of commitments.
This means that you really have to pick one thing to plan ahead and do, then spend the rest of your time resting and recharging, free from a fixed agenda.
This one thing could be something as simple as bringing your children to the park for a picnic, rearranging your books in alphabetical order or spring cleaning your closet.
Make your weekend all about this one thing, and you’ll realise how much better your mind is able to work and thrive when it’s not multitasking.
If you can’t think of anything to you’d like to do? Do nothing, or try DIY-ing a fabric bag and napkin with our free tutorials: