Writing after a long time. I hope this is useful to all guys who are like-minded with me.
This is a guide for the guys who deep down inside their hearts are nothing but lazy couch potatoes, but are forced by the pressures of job, family and society to work hard on weekdays and weekends… Work here, need to necessarily means job, but any work like cleaning up the car, drive to grocery, take kids to a play ground/area, etc, etc..
Now, I understand that not any of the work can be compromised. You are or at least appear to be a responsible employee and a husband and would definitely like to keep it that way. But, would like to have one of the much longed lazy weekends where the bum inside you gets satisfied.
The key to a successful weekend that will satisfy the you inside is in following the 10 points explained below. The essence is to be captured in a typical project cycle
1) Scope and Goals definition–
Define Lazy for yourself – Lazy means different things for different people. Watching a romantic movie could be laziness for one and stress level 8 for another. So, define how your ideal lazy weekend would be.
List down the typical tasks (domestic – cleaning the house, grocery; work related – catch-up with offshore team, social – visit neighbor to check on his broken ankle, etc) and the potential tasks (shop for Sandra’s b’day gift, etc) that you could expected to do over the weekend
2) Plan in advance
A successful lazy weekend cannot be achieved without a 2-4 week advance planning. The lazy weekend project gets into execution phase much before the actual target weekend.
Mark the items which can be completed after the weekend and the items which are potential risk of “fight with wife” if not completed by the end of the weekend (who wants a fight after a perfectly lazy weekend!!!)
Plan to complete all risk related items and spread them over the next 2 weeks so that the week before lazy weekend is not too stressed.
Plan non-risk items for post lazy weekend. e.g. shop for next season, car’s oil change, plan for a vacation.
3) Identify risks and build a mitigation plan
Potential risks will be call from office for some urgent discussion, trigger of a family related discussion, no-activity complain from family, wife reminds you that weekend cooking is your job. The list could be different for different people, but a mitigation plan for each identified risk should be planned. Come on guys make this weekend a Pizza Hut weekend…
4) Allow room for minor contingencies
Now I’ve not seen many projects which go live with all that was planned for in the first baseline. It is ok to get out of the house for salt if it runs out, after all eating food without cooking is also a part of the plan.
5) Communication Plan
Start building a story around each item as much in advance as possible, e.g. now that I’m going to pick bread, I think I’ll pick milk and eggs as well this week on Thursday itself. Am sure you can find room for them in the refrigerator. To boss – I don’t think I’ll be able to login to the call on Sunday night. I have a small get-together with old college friends on Sunday.
Timing is everything. You should start building a low self-esteem profile to gain domestic sympathy. Start building a high work stress profile during the week at work.
6) Have a Plan B
Make sure that you have some stale food at home and you get rid of it on Saturday morning without wife knowing about it. If for any reason, she forces you to break the lazy spell just blame that stale food that you ate on Friday night and make a big deal about it. She’ll laugh on you for 2 years for eating stale food but hey… you got your lazy weekend and guess who had the last laugh.
7) Stick to Schedule
Don’t let your plan go off-schedule because of mid-week work stress. If you have to complete the grocery by Thursday, do it even if you have to take the work call from Walmart. Because guess what- you step out once to get onions and there goes rest of the day driving from one place to another.
8) Revisit the plan during Execution Phase
Closely monitor your plan and your progress of your plan. Keep adding tasks as and when they occur. e.g. if there was a spillage of juice in the car, the car naturally needs to be cleaned inside-out on the weekend. Clean the car out of schedule mid-week. It does not need to be cleaned thoroughly. Just clean it enough to satisfy the naked eye and nose (of wife!!!)
9) Accept failure sportingly
If for any godforsaken reason, your plan fails, a relative drops in on Saturday evening and keeps sitting talking about Health Bill for 4 hours and all the work you did goes in vain, do not lose heart. Remember there are many more weekends to come, when the same plan could be re-executed.
10) Guard the plan even post-completion
What good is a plan if it cannot be reproduced or it results in post-execution argument. a successful lazy weekend is a reward for you and you only. Keep it close to yourself and your heart.
Well, all said I have never been able to gather enough courage to put this plan to execution till date, but if you try do let me know the results…