As college students, we’re busy as hell. At least for fifteen weeks each in the fall and spring. Juggling five classes and an internship and/or part-time work while trying to maintain some semblance of a social life is hard. And it can leave us feeling really burnt out.
For some college students, relaxing on the weekends comes easily — and means one very specific activity for them: partying. Then there are others of us. We’re workaholics, nervous about finding a job after graduation, or maybe we’re just biology majors. Anyway, for us it seems like giving up an hour of trolling the job boards or reading that 4″ thick textbook again would break our hopes of employment or getting that A. But the truth is, we need to learn to slow it down. We need to take better advantage of the weekends and other downtime, if we want to succeed.
Time management expert Laura Vanderkam just released her book, What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekends, and in it, she offers up anecdotes and advice that illustrate the importance of — and how to — make the most of your weekends. While the answer to the question “What do the most successful people do on the weekends?” is not (necessarily) “Work,” it’s also not, “Nothing.”
The most successful people figure out what non-work activities are the most fun and fulfilling for them. They make plans and keep them. They don’t just sit in their pajamas doing nothing all day.
“To make the most of your weekends,” Vanderkam writes, “‘you tell yourself, look, what would make me really, really enjoy this day and kind of get me out of the normal routine and give me pleasure?’ Then say, ‘this is what I’m going to do,’ and come that time, be disciplined about that commitment, telling yourself, ‘this is my appointment, just as if it’s a doctor’s appointment or an appointment to go to work.’”
Reading her great little book, I realized that my weeks with my Grammy are always fun and restful because we do a lot of these same things. We plan things out a day or two in advance so there’s some element of anticipation, which is half the fun, and we do a mix of things. And I also get more sleep while I’m there, which is part of returning rested to your work.
Be sure to order a copy of Vanderkam’s newest book, which will help you make the most of your limited time in college and help you prepare for managing your time once you have a full-time gig.