The Weekend Experiment That Will Change Your Life

You probably have more leisure time than you think. Here’s how to maximize it.

Laura Vanderkam
Forge
Published in
4 min readMar 12, 2021

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Magnifying glasses looking at an alarm clock.
Illustration: Dora Godfrey/ Medium

The time between the moment you close your laptop on Friday and the moment your alarm goes off on Monday morning can feel shockingly short. But it isn’t. Assuming eight hours of sleep a night, there are 37 waking hours between 5 p.m. Friday and 10 p.m. Sunday. That’s nearly the equivalent of a full work week — which seldom feels like it disappears into nothingness, even for people who like their jobs.

But a key difference between weekdays and weekends is that work hours have built-in accountability. We think through how we’re going to spend our working hours with certain outcomes in mind. Weekends? Not so much.

I’m not saying you need to plan every minute of your weekends. But having a good sense of where your weekend hours go can help you see their abundance. That, in turn, can help you spend them in a way that makes life feel more fun.

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Laura Vanderkam
Forge
Writer for

Laura Vanderkam is the author of several time management books including Off the Clock and 168 Hours. She blogs at LauraVanderkam.com.