I’m writing this post mostly because there is NO better feeling than having a productive Saturday. Like, legit. It makes your soul feel better than a Saturday night in with pizza, unicorn pyjamas and Netflix. It seriously pains me to say that, but when you think about it, you know it’s true too.
There’s just something so damn special that makes you feel like you could literally skip when you kickstart your weekend with sunshine and errands and your to-do list. It’s almost like it gives you permission to do whatever the flip you like for the rest of the weekend, guilt-free.
And, let’s be honest, that’s just aces because I ALWAYS get that stupid niggly guilty feeling in my brain when I’m sprawled out on the sofa under a duvet watching Pretty Little Liars when I haven’t actually done anything of note. I feel like I have to earn my downtime.
And so here’s my guide to earning your downtime and feeling on top of the bloody world.
1. Wake up early
I know this sounds really silly – but try and wake up early without setting an alarm. I often feel that if my body automatically comes out of sync from my early get-ups during the week and makes me sleep in it’s because it needs it, and in that case, prepare to have a less-than productive Saturday, because well, sleep is WAY more important for all your brain and body health and stuff.
But if you DO wake up at the same sort of time you wake up during the week – that 7/8am sorta time, go with it. Don’t try and make yourself do a bonus snooze (I’m so, so, so guilty of this), they always make you feel like crap. Force yourself up. Open the curtains. Get light. WAKE UP.
2. No TV
This is classic Hannah. Well, I’ve woken up seriously early for a Saturday so I deserve just a couple of sneaky episodes of summin summin on the TV with a cup of tea before I start my day. All the nos. Just stop. Don’t do it. Either you’ll get hooked and watch enough episodes until it’s midday – like what? HOW? WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE WORLD? WHO CHANGED THE CLOCKS? Or you’ll just end up feeling sluggish and uninspired to continue on with your plans for world domination.
Or swim. Or walk. Have a glass of water, have a banana and get yourself out of the house for exercise. There’s always something that makes me feel so superior to the rest of the world when I’m at the gym when most of my Facebook friends are still rolling around in swirls of regret and tequila from the night before. Plus, endorphins and increased blood flow and all that science stuff too.
4. Stay in your gym clothes
When I say gym clothes I mean sassy trainers, your proffesh running leggings and a leather biker jacket over your sporty look. Maybe some swank sunglasses too. The sort of outfit I always see celebs in LA flying about in. I mean, if you’ve really worked up a sweat, maybe change into fresh exercise clothes.
I bet you’re like, where the flip are you going with this one, Hannah? I’m still trying to work out where I’m going with this one. I don’t know WHAT it is, maybe it’s the fact exercise clothes are so comfy and allow so much movement, maybe it’s the follow-on from doing the actual exercise, but when I’m wearing my gym clothes I just feel so much more in control, so much more able to tackle the world. That’s it, I feel ABLE. I’m not tugging at my jeans to stay up or pulling my jumper down, I’m comfortable, full of energy and I’m just nailing it.
5. Get coffee
Controversial right, that whole caffeine thing? It’s one of my favourite things on a Saturday morning, to get takeout coffee after the gym. It makes me feel so fresh and revitalised.
Note how I said takeout? I think that’s key to being productive, not spending too much time lingering on things – it’s the same as when you’re doing work on your computer and decide to just have a sneaky look at ASOS and OMG WHERE DID THE DAY GO? How is it dinner time? Don’t linger, don’t get distracted, keep your eye on the prize.
Get your coffee fix, treat yourself to a Saturday latte because you DO deserve it. And if you’re really not that way inclined then yeah, get juice or a chai latte or summin else.
6. Eat breakfast
I *probs* should have just included this in number 5 – but grab breakfast on the go. It’s rarely recommended because nutrionally it’s not as great as eating at home, but it saves you precious time (because the amount of time you’ll be motivated for is already drastically declining) and means there’ll be no washing up – another thing to distract and drain your positive energy away.
I like a good ole bircher pot from Starbucks or Pret, but if you’re gonna have a muffin, have a muffin. Life’s too short. Eat the sweet dreamy baby carbs.
7. Positive reinforcement
Right, look, I could be like guys you don’t need social media and its addictiveness, but let’s be honest, it’s too late for that now. Maybe this is a terrible thing to say, but y’know what really helps keep that spring in my step when I’m on a roll? A bit of appreciation from the wonderful (harrowing and horrible) world of social media.
Go on, revel in some likes and favourites. You’re allowed to – we’re all doing it. Share something witty, share something pretty. Be flattered by your own social media prescence.
This is you errand slot. This is your queue-to-send-ebay-sales-at-the-post-office slot. You’re fed, watered and energized. Go get the world.
Pick up your dry cleaning (do people do this for reals?), buy those birthday cards, drop in that prescription, buy those lightbulbs, visit the tip.
Do it all whilst clutching a Starbucks cup and wearing those Nike trainers you’ve instagrammed *about* 7 times. Do it feeling cool. Do it whilst feeling like the best version of yourself. The version of yourself who can tick off her to-do list and still have time to flop on the sofa and do NOTHING all afternoon if she so wishes.
When you get home from said errands session, do not, I repeat DO NOT, sit on the sofa. Not yet. You sit down and you lose any excess positive productivity in your soul, it’ll just trickle out of you.
Fill the sink with hot soapy water, load up the washing machine. Clean up those excess glasses and mugs that have appeared out of nowhere, wipe down the hob and kitchen surfaces. Go to absolute town with the anti bac wipes and spray. Open all the windows in your house even if it looks a bit murky and grey outside, be a real-life adult who ‘airs’ out her house. Seriously though, clean house = clean mind. And that’s one of the best feelings going.
10. Extra house chores
Sometimes the kitchen is enough to finish me off, sometimes it just keeps the momentum going a bit longer. If somehow, after everything you’ve done, you don’t feel like calling it quits for at least a fortnight then now’s *probs* the only time in the entire week you’ll even have the energy to think about changing the bedsheets or hoovering the stairs.
If that sounds like sheer hell at this point, settle for pouring some bleach down the loo.
GO YOU. YOU HAVE OWNED TODAY.
11. Treat yo self
Go on, go get them flowers. Go get that candle. Go get those coconut Lindors. You deserve it, bae.
And then sit down. Sit on the sofa. Watch something really bloody special and feel deeply impressed with yourself. I sound sarcastic, I’m not, this is genuinely one of my favourite feelings in the world. Rejoicing in my own productivity levels and my post-exercise high, and my caffeine fix, and my sorta clean home, feels bloody damn good.
So err yeah. Might not all be your typical ‘good’ advice (ahem, coffee and social media confirming self-worth), but it works for me and I’m pretty sane. And not everyone wants advice that revolves around overnight oats and meditation and being organised, right?