How to Quit Escapism and Make the Most of Your Weekends

by | Jul 30, 2023 | Get Inspired

The weekends can be a precious time to relax and recharge, but they also present an opportunity to make progress on important goals.

Rather than just escaping our normal routines, we can use weekends strategically to build the life we aspire to.


    • The Problem with Escapism
    • How to Stop Wasting Weekends and Start Using Them
    • Key Benefits of a Builder Mindset on Weekends
    • How to Build the Right Things in Your Limited Free Time
    • Common Escapist Behaviors to Limit on Weekends
    • Build Through Better Time Management
    • Ideas for Weekend Building Projects
    • Maintaining Consistency to Prevent Backsliding
    • Conclusion

The Problem with Escapism

It’s easy to default to escapist behaviors on the weekends that actually set us backwards instead of moving us forward. Activities like binge-drinking, overeating, excessive shopping, and binge-watching television may provide temporary relief or entertainment.

But ultimately, they sacrifice our health, finances, productivity, and life progress. Escapism feels good in the moment but leads to regret and backsliding later on.

We need to be mindful of escapist traps that derail our goals and replace passive, addictive escapes with active building.

How to Stop Wasting Weekends and Start Using Them

Adopt a Builder Mindset

To have a productive weekend, we need to shift our mindset. Rather than thinking “I don’t know how to do it,” embrace the attitude of “I don’t know how to do it yet, but I’ll find a way.” This determination separates the dreamers from the doers.

As writer Ross Simmonds put it:

“There’s two types of people in the world: Those who say ‘I don’t know how to do it’ and those who say ‘I don’t know how to do it but I’ll find a way.'”

We make time for what we truly want to build. Excuses mean it’s not actually a priority.

Don’t Bank on the Future

It’s tempting to think we’ll have more free time in the future. But as Jack Kornfield warns: “The trouble is you think you have time.” Tomorrow seldom delivers the time we couldn’t find today.

If you want to write a book, today is the day to start. If you want to learn to code, this weekend is the time to begin. Don’t keep pushing it off based on a fictional future schedule. You either make it a goal now or admit it’s not one.

Read: The Dark Side of Positive Psychology

Build Quietly to Avoid Pressure

What holds many people back is fear of failure and judgment. So an effective strategy is to build in silence at first.

Keep your efforts private without talking or posting about them. Experiment and iterate without outside opinions swaying you. Once you gain momentum, you can choose to share your progress publicly.

As entrepreneur Aaron Will says:

“Outside opinions will throw off your energy.”

Adopt Tiny Habits

The most practical way to make progress on big goals is to break them down into small, consistent actions. Strive for just 15 or 30 focused minutes per day on your aims.

Tiny habits compound to drive remarkable results over time. And they are easy to fit into a busy schedule. You’ll gain evidence of progress and motivation to expand the habit.

Freedom comes from persistently building what you want while avoiding what you don’t. Make consistent creation your default, not constant consumption and escapism. Invest regular small amounts of time to build your ideal life.

The path to your dreams isn’t mysterious or complicated. It just involves small steps today, not grand leaps someday. Make progress this weekend.

Key Benefits of a Builder Mindset on Weekends

Adopting a builder mindset on weekends provides several powerful benefits:

Make Meaningful Progress on Goals

The weekend provides a great opportunity to chip away at goals when you have more free time.

Tiny amounts of progress add up to amazing results over months and years.

Avoid Backslide from Escapism

Escapist behaviors like overeating, oversleeping, or binge-watching shows move you backwards.

Building towards aims moves you forwards.

Gain Momentum and Motivation

Progress breeds motivation. When you experience wins working on something consistently, you’ll gain momentum to push further.

Build Healthy and Sustainable Habits

Establishing tiny daily habits on weekends sets you up for consistency. You can maintain momentum much easier over time.

Create Structure and Meaning

Building gives your weekends purpose and structure versus just consuming entertainment passively.

You’ll feel more energized and fulfilled.

Avoid Procrastination and Wishful Thinking

Taking real action combats procrastination and magical thinking about the future.

You make progress happen rather than just daydream.

How to Build the Right Things in Your Limited Free Time

With busy lives, we have to be selective about what we spend our precious free time building. Follow these principles:

  • Align Efforts With Your Core Values and Goals: Ensure what you’re building maps to your top values and life vision. Don’t create in areas that don’t resonate.
  • Break Goals Down Into Tiny, Daily Actions: Figure out the smallest, most basic actions you can take daily to make progress. Tiny steps achieve big gains.
  • Focus on One Goal at a Time: Resist spreading yourself too thin across multiple aims. Laser focus on one goal until it becomes effortless.
  • Work on Goals That Energize You: Building in areas you feel passionate about will seem easier and more natural. Lean into what excites you.
  • Build Skills Instead of Just Consuming: Opt for active learning and creation versus passive entertainment consumption. Learn by doing.
  • Enlist Accountability Partners: Share your aims and progress with others for encouragement and accountability. Make it public.
  • Review and Reflect on Results Weekly: Analyze what’s working each week and make adjustments. Refinement is key for efficiency.

The path to achievement looks like tiny, imperfect steps forward consistently over time. Replace escapism with active building this weekend.

Common Escapist Behaviors to Limit on Weekends

It’s valuable to recognize and reduce escapist behaviors that hinder your goals on weekends:

  • Binge-Watching Television: Passively watching show after show sacrifices mental clarity and creativity. Opt for active hobbies.
  • Drinking Heavily: Drinking to excess derails health goals and hurts productivity. Practice moderation.
  • Sleeping Excessively: Oversleeping leaves less time for meaningful activities. Follow a consistent sleep schedule.
  • Eating Unhealthy Food: Binging on fast food undoes fitness and health gains. Meal prep to prevent this.
  • Mindless Internet Surfing: Endlessly scrolling social feeds kills precious time. Set limits on recreational internet use.
  • Shopping as Entertainment: “Retail therapy” can wreck budgets and leave you unfulfilled. Beat impulse shopping urges.
  • Aiming for Total Relaxation: Total rest seems appealing but leaves you unproductive and guilty. Mix in rejuvenation with building.

Balance is ideal – allowance for rest along with consistent progress towards aims. Limit behaviors that derail you.

Making Time to Build Through Better Time Management

“I’m too busy” is the most common excuse for not building and making progress on aims. But it is possible to find the time through better time management:

Have a Daily and Weekly Plan

Map out how you’ll spend your hours each day and weekend. Schedule building time.

Tackle the Tough Tasks First

Do your most important work early when you have the most energy and willpower.

Batch Similar Tasks

Group related tasks together into long blocks to preserve focus.

Practice the 60/10 Method

Work in focused 60 minute sprints, then take 10 minute breaks to recharge.

Set Hard Time Limits

Use a timer to constrain distractions and time wasters during work blocks.

Limit Social Media

Set specific times you will allow yourself to check feeds rather than having them always on.

Say No to Non-Essentials

Decline any task or commitment that doesn’t align with your core goals.

Outsource and Automate

Delegate or outsource tasks that don’t require your unique skills and time.

Rise Early, Stay Up Late

Grab time for building in the early morning and night if needed.

With deliberate focus and boundaries, you can find the time to consistently build each weekend. Don’t let excuses sabotage your progress.

Ideas for Weekend Building Projects

Here are some potential projects and skills you could spend time building on weekends:

  • Develop a Mobile App: Use resources to learn coding and build your own basic mobile app.
  • Write an Ebook: Publish and sell your own book on Amazon’s Kindle platform.
  • Launch a Podcast: Record and edit podcast episodes on a topic you love. Release to all platforms.
  • Create an Online Course: Make a series of video lessons teaching your expertise. Sell access.
  • Learn a Musical Instrument: Practice a guitar, piano, ukulele, or other instrument with lessons.
  • Build Something Physical: Make furniture, sculptures, electronics, or anything else tangible.
  • Start a Blog: Research your niche, write posts, and market your new blog consistently.
  • Develop a New Career Skill: Use online courses to gain abilities like web design, marketing, etc.
  • Improve Your Finances: Read personal finance books, start investing, cut expenses.
  • Volunteer Locally: Offer your time and support to causes and groups you care about.

The options are endless. Match projects to your passions, interests, and life goals.

Maintaining Consistency to Prevent Backsliding

The hardest part of building is staying consistent over months and years.

Here are tips to prevent backsliding:

Automate Repetitive Tasks

Tools like Calendly, Zapier, and Buffer eliminate tedious work so you stay consistent.

Join a Mastermind Group

Peer groups provide accountability and encouragement to persist.

Use Streak Tracking Apps

Apps like Streaks and HabitShare track progress and help maintain momentum.

Celebrate Small Wins

Recognize little milestones along the way to feel progress and stay motivated.

Make It Easy and Accessible

Remove all friction and barriers to making progress consistently. Have triggers and reminders in place.

Tie Progress to an Accountability Partner

Bet an accountability buddy you’ll stick to your habit for X days or weeks.

Reflect on YOUR WHY

Reconnect with your emotional reasons for building when you want to quit.

Take It One Day at a Time

Just focus on sticking with your habit TODAY rather than forever. Stay present.

Building real skills and value takes years of daily practice. But tiny gains compound to drive huge results over time. Stay consistent!


The weekends provide a great chance to recharge but also to build the life you want in incremental steps.

Avoid the common pitfall of escapism. Have an intentional plan to make consistent progress on meaningful goals using tiny habits. Build privately at first to maintain energy and motivation.

Making progress may seem impossible in your limited free time. But with relentless focus, effective time management, and consistent effort over years, you can achieve your wildest aims.

Stop passively waiting for the perfect future time and conditions. Start actively creating today in small ways. Build the life you desire this weekend and every one after it.

The time is now.