You Can Get Your Whole Life Together with an “LFT” Weekend

Life is all about balance. While some weekends are made for sitting back and relaxing, others are made purely for productivity. Recently, a reader called Jinnet suggested the idea of an occasional “let’s finish that” (LFT) weekend, and we have to admit, it has a nice ring to it.

“Every once in a while I declare a ‘let’s finish that’ weekend. I start nothing new and tackle projects that may be three-quarters done (that tends to be where I lose interest). I don’t even buy new food; I eat leftovers and award myself ‘leftover points’ for finishing them up.”

It’s a tempting thought. If you spend a weekend getting all your projects done, you could reap the benefits for weekdays and weekends to come.

Here’s how you can nail your next LFT weekend and set yourself up for long-term success:

1. Do a house-wide audit the week before

In order to hit the ground running for your LFT weekend, keep a running list of the projects you’ll tackle. Make sure to jot down all shelves you’ve been meaning to hang, furniture items you’ve been meaning to build, and (for the fun part) any crafts you’ve started but just never got around to finishing. Your future (very cold!) winter self will thank you for finishing that blanket you’ve been knitting since February. Keep all your projects on a list so you can prioritize them come Friday night.

2. Sweep the fridge—it’s all part of the fun

If you’ve ever wanted to stage an episode of “Chopped” in your home, now’s the best time to do it. Get in the full “let’s finish that” spirit and challenge yourself to cook all your weekend meals with what’s in your freezer, fridge, and pantry from last weekend’s grocery trip. You’ll feel great not letting the usual suspects go to waste (hello, tub of leafy greens) and you’ll have the fun of putting your culinary skills to the test.

3. Get creative with your projects

Sure, there are the obvious projects you’ll tackle (like measuring out your gallery wall, cleaning the gutters, and organizing your coat closet) but don’t forget about your passion projects, too. After you’ve completed one full task that you’ve been dragging your feet on for months, reward yourself with a fun one—like color coding your bookshelf—not because you have to, but because it makes you happy to look at every day.

4. Let your LFT mindset extend to Netflix too

If one item on your LFT list is getting to laundry zero (or something similarly mindless), park yourself on the couch come folding time. If you can find a way to LFT your Netflix queue too, you’ll probably feel a lot happier about your work/fun balance for the weekend. New rules for this LFT project: No, you don’t have to finish any shows you didn’t like, but yes, you should treat yourself to finishing the show you always get interrupted in the middle of (and maybe even the one you’ve been waiting for your work wife to catch up with you on).

5. Start brainstorming your next LFT projects

Once you’re in a good place with your home LFT projects, start planning your next LFT weekend in a new category—maybe personal finance, holiday gifting, good deeds, or catching up with friends. By extending your LFT style to a new category of your life next month, you’ll be able to organize your to-do list in new and unprecedented ways. It just takes a little bit of focus and some forward momentum, and you’ll be there before you know it.

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