3. They Don't Clean the Grout.Using the weekend to catch up on chores is probably the hardest trap to avoid. After all, if you work full-time, when else are you supposed to do the 15.1 hours (for women) or 9.6 hours (for men) of household activities that the Bureau of Labor Statistics claims the average American does each week? But housework will take all the time you are willing to give it. After all, women in 1965 spent more than 30 hours each week on housework...and we haven't descended into complete filth since then.
So consider doing your chores during the workweek; the chores will take less time because you have less time. This will leave your weekends free for more rejuvenating activities. Throw a load of laundry in before dinner and have the kids either do the dishes after or fold. Make a quick trip to the grocery store at 8:30 p.m. on a Wednesday. The place will be so empty you'll zoom through. If a sparkling house is important to you—and sometimes it is—then designate a short cleaning time on the weekend, perhaps on Sunday afternoon. That way, if you find yourself looking at a messy house on Saturday morning, you can tell yourself that there's a time for cleaning, and now is not that time. When the cleaning window arrives, set an alarm and do as much as you can in an hour. When the time is up, it's up.
4. They Don't Lose the Last 15 Hours.I struggle with this trap myself. I love what I do, but sometimes the sheer volume of work waiting for me Monday morning makes me look at the clock come Sunday afternoon and fall into a total Sunday funk. But the thing is: At 3 p.m. on Sunday, I still have 15 hours before I'll wake up Monday morning, including seven hours before I need to go to bed. Why not seize that time?
This is why Sunday nights have become my new favorite time to host parties. Most people are free, and there's a more relaxed vibe than at the formal get-togethers people expect on Saturday nights. Order food, have a beer, enjoy your friends, and you'll be far readier for the workweek than if you spend that same time thinking about your inbox. As Reinhart puts it, failing to relax, run and refresh on weekends "makes me not a good husband, not a good dad and a terrible CEO." Success requires recharging the batteries from time to time—so you can hit Monday refreshed and ready to conquer—if not the world—then your own life.
Laura Vanderkam is the author of What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend: A Short Guide to Making the Most of Your Days Off and 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think.
More Secrets to Success