The biggest thing that springs to people’s minds when they hear the words 5:2, is the 5:2 diet. But I’m talking about the a typical 5:2 week. Five days working and two days off. During my internship, I was working pretty intensely on the top of commuting a total of three hours a day on three different methods of transport, I was beat by the weekend. The whole balance of five days working and just getting two days off just didn’t seem worth it.
Now that I’m more used to working life, it doesn’t seem too far out of kilter anymore but it largely depends on how busy you are at work not necessarily the amount of hours that you do in my opinion. But I’ve set myself a target to try make the most of weekday evenings after work and to enjoy them so it doesn’t feel like 5:2 but perhaps 4:1:2. A total of 4 days working, weekday evenings totalling up to one extra day off plus Saturday and Sunday. Here are my tips on how to make the most of those weekdays and have a positive halo effect on the weekend.
1. Life Admin: The one thing I dread about weekends is spending the majority of my time sorting my life out, getting my washing done, doing the weekly food shop, washing my hair… (Don’t worry the latter isn’t just a weekly occurrence. Therefore, I try to get these things done on one weekday evening. I clean my room, and do my food shop on the way home from work, that way at the weekend I can just have fun and enjoy myself.
2. Have some chill evenings: Just as much as I enjoy being productive at work, I also enjoy getting stuff done at weekends, otherwise it can feel like a bit of a waste of a weekend if I lounge around all the time. (Each to their own) I know everyone needs downtime at some point during the week so I make sure that for at least one evening, I will take it extra slow, cook something really nice for dinner, have a bath, and have a little pamper session. Hair masks, face masks nails – it all gets a look in. By doing this, by the time it gets to the weekend I already feel decently refreshed for me to take something else on bar work!
3. Have fun! I guess the biggest advice could be make sure you don’t limit fun to post 5pm on a Friday. Go for dinner with friends one evening or head to the cinema. But head quickly because Orange Wednesdays are ending soon! I’ve always found this really splits the week up and those 5 long days just don’t feel like a long distance race anymore where you’re not allowed to stop.
4. Start your own project: I realised through university that I want to achieve a lot of things in my life, and I don’t want the only thing I achieve in life to be related to my career. I really enjoy side projects because they can provide you with things that work just doesn’t. For example, I volunteer for a social enterprise running in London where we help current or ex homeless people.
I know that these may only sound like tiny changes, but I’ve found that they make a massive different to how I feel at weekends; refreshed, how I feel throughout the week and Sunday nights because I have something to look forward to during the week making me a happy bunny. Sitting in front of the TV every night after work gets boring and there is never anything good on TV, so I’ve found that this really works for me.