I’ve been putting off a lot of things. I think this is part of just being a person — we’re not going to be productivity machines all of the time. After I finish a long day of working, I would much rather watch an episode of Escape to the Country than do a small, personal chore that just feels like more work. (For the record, I only got the idea to watch Escape to the Country when it appeared in my Netflix suggestions, but it is a delight — like a more casual, British countryside version of House Hunters.)
But there comes a point when ~productivity hacks~ can only do so much. At some point, you just have to do the thing. I can write down an aspirational list of all the things I need to do, but for me, personally, that doesn’t guarantee that I’m actually going to do them.
And I admit, Weekend Holly can be pretty lazy. I get into the mindset that weekends are for relaxing, so even if I do give myself a to-do list, it’s easy to excuse not getting it done as “oh well, it’s the weekend.” I’ve listed a bunch of things to stop putting off this weekend, drawing a lot from my own experience. There are many things here that I keep putting off indefinitely, because the less something affects other people, the more I will absolutely put it off. There are also things that I know from experience are such a relief to finally stop putting off (like cancelling your cable service, or cleaning out your closet). So this weekend, pick one — or two! or seven! — thing from this list, and do it. I’ll join, too.
1. Call your cable company to get your bill lowered. This is possible. Back when I had cable, I once noticed a sports package on our billing statement, which we absolutely had not ordered or requested. I called to complain, and they took the charge off that statement and future statements, and even credited the account for the previous months we’d paid for that package without knowing.
2. Cancel the subscription services you don’t use. You may already be on top of this, and that’s great! But without doing a little math, you may not realize how much you’re actually spending on subscription services every year. Comb through your bank and credit card statements to see how much you’re spending on subscriptions each month, and cancel the ones you don’t use (or don’t use enough).
3. Cancel your gym membership. Sure, it might only be $10 a month. Sure, it’s super annoying that you have to physically go into the gym to cancel your membership, especially because they might try to coerce you into keeping it. Stay strong — remember why you’re there. If you’re not using it, it is not worth $120 a year (or more).
4. End it with that person you don’t like that much. There are differences in opinion on this, but I don’t think ghosting is great. It is more than okay to not like everyone you go out with, but even that guy from Bumble that you hung out with a few times deserves to know that you’re simply not interested. You’ll feel less anxious when you’re not stringing anyone along, too.
5. Clean out your closet. At least a few times a year, go through and donate (or sell) the things you’re not wearing. You’ll wear more of your clothes when your closet has some breathing room, and you can actually find all of them — I promise.
6. Upgrade your desk or bedroom to make it a happier “you” area. I’m sure we all have those spaces in our homes that we keep thinking we need to add to. This weekend, create an inspiration board to hang over your desk, or switch out some framed prints with something more springy.
7. Organize your important papers. Look, my bedside drawer is so filled with “important” papers that I have to force it closed, even though most of them are probably garbage. Don’t be like me. Get some sort of filing system and put them all away — tax returns, receipts you need to keep, billing statements, whatever.
8. Sign up to volunteer with that organization you keep mentioning. One of the best things I did when I first moved to New York was sign up to volunteer at a few different places: an after-school tutoring program, and a non-profit bookstore. Of course, life got in the way in the past year or so, and I now don’t participate at either. I really miss donating some of my time every week or so (and, let’s be real, getting an occasional free meal), so this is something I’m definitely planning to get back into soon. If you’ve been wanting to start volunteering, but haven’t for whatever reason, just bite the bullet — the organization will love to have you.
9. Do that DIY project you pinned and actually keep going back to. Sometimes Pinterest is very passive, but if there is a project you actually keep thinking about, do it this weekend. Even if it turns out badly, you can say you tried!
10. Clean out your fridge. Mayonnaise that expired in August 2016 should not still be in there.
11. Open that online savings account. You’ve likely heard about high-yield online-only savings accounts through this very website. Perhaps you keep saying to yourself that you need to open one and see that interest start building up on your emergency fund, so what are you waiting for?
12. Buy that big item you’ve been saving up for. Remember that money is meant to be spent on things you care about, not simply hoarded for the sake of having it. If you have fully-funded your new phone fund, it is okay to spend that money on…a new phone.
13. Buy a domain name. It is a good idea for a lot of people to have their own website, especially writers and freelancers. The first step is to simply buy the domain name, and then, at least, you have something to go from when you finally sit down to build it out.
14. Delete your excessive phone apps. A cluttered smartphone screen is no way to live. Delete the apps you don’t use — they’re just taking up space at this point. You can always re-download them later.
15. Start your at-home fitness routine. New Year’s resolutions are great, but you don’t need it to be January 1st in order to start implementing a healthy habit. Start slow, with a 10-minute gentle yoga routine every other day or so. Work your way up to longer, more intense workouts over time. Your body will eventually start craving the exercise.
16. Read the book that’s been sitting on your nightstand for months. Seriously, just pick it up and read it. Light a candle and close the door if you need to set the ~mood~. It’s the best way to give yourself some indulgent “me time” while also doing something good for your brain.
17. Return that thing you’re not wearing. If it’s been sitting in a box with the return shipping label for a while, your window is getting smaller and smaller — make sure to return that new sweater or dress you’re not wearing before it’s too late, and you’re stuck with it.
18. Do your taxes. You have a month left — get going if you haven’t.
Holly is the Managing Editor of The Financial Diet. Follow her on Twitter here, or send her your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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