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'You're Doing Your Weekend Wrong' (qz.com) 147

"If you don't feel rejuvenated and keen to face Monday after two work-free days, there might be a reason: You're doing your weekend wrong," an anonymous reader writes, citing a Quartz article. From the article: According to University of Calgary sociologist Robert Stebbins, most leisure falls into two categories: casual and serious. Casual leisure pursuits are short lived, immediately gratifying, and often passive; they include activities like drinking, online shopping, and binge-watching. These diversions provide instant hedonic pleasure -- quite literally, actually, as all these pastimes cause the brain to release dopamine and provide instant soothing comfort. In a culture where many people exist all week in an amped-up, overworked state, casual weekend leisure easily becomes the default for quick decompression.

But serious leisure is a far more beneficial pursuit. Serious leisure activities provide deeper fulfillment, and -- to invoke a fuzzy '70s word -- "self-actualization." Self-actualization is the pinnacle of human development, according to humanist psychologist Abraham Maslow, who describes it as "the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming." In other words, getting self-actualized is the whole point of life, and passive, hedonistic leisure (fun and occasionally necessary as it might be) won't get you there. Instead, the weekend goal should be "eudaimonic" happiness, which is a sense of well-being that arises from meaningful, challenging activities that cause you to grow as a person. This means spending the weekend on serious leisure activities that require the regular refinement of skills: your barbershop-quartet singing, your stamp collecting, or slightly less dorky, but still equally in-depth, projects. You pursue serious leisure with the earnest tenor of a professional, even if the pursuit is amateur.

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'You're Doing Your Weekend Wrong'

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    The typical Slashdot reader spends his weekend in his parents basement watching tentacle hentai and touching himself relentlessly. The only breaks are for sleep, using the bathroom, and calling up to his mother for more Cheetos. How does this fit into the two categories described in the article? Discuss.

  • Other way around (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TeknoHog ( 164938 ) on Saturday July 01, 2017 @06:26AM (#54724177) Homepage Journal
    It could also be that you're doing your week wrong, and you have no energy left to do anything sensible in your spare time. Are you working to live, or living to work?
    • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

      I understand what you're saying and in my own carreer I'm able to balance it more towards earning less and having more fun, but this isn't an option for the vast majority of people. Think of all those dozens of coal miners whose jobs have been saved for a few more years; you really think they have the option of just taking another job or working shorter weeks while still making enough money to support their family?

      • The logical answer is to spend your energy taking up torches and pitchforks and demanding that your government provide what it's supposed to. Unfortunately, not enough people think that they're having a problem for that to actually work. You need a whole mob, not a handful of assholes with farm implements standing at the gates to the white house.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          What is the government supposed to provide, according to the Constitution, that it's not?

          • by Anonymous Coward

            The constitution is not the be-all and end-all of what the government should do.

            The government is supposed to be working on your behalf. You should be telling them what to do and they should listen. This doesn't mean they should do what you ask, as they have the same responsibility to all the other citizens as well, but they should at least consider it, and do what is best for the country as a whole. Not just what is best for the few rich elites.

          • A more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.

            It could do a better job of a couple of those.

        • The logical answer is to spend your energy taking up torches and pitchforks

          Torches do almost no damage at all, and the pitchfork is a pathetic two hander. You can rack up XP using it but almost anything else you can get from a drop has more power.

      • In a sane country, yes.
        In the US, likely not so much.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      It could also be that you're doing your week wrong, and you have no energy left to do anything sensible in your spare time. Are you working to live, or living to work?

      I'd say many people don't have the energy, but they do it anyway exactly because it's the weekend they live for. If the weekend was only rest and relaxation to recoup Monday would be so much easier but life would be work, rest, work, rest, work, rest. Quite often when I feel more exhausted Monday morning than Friday afternoon that was part of the plan. Much like a hangover I might not like it very much then and there, but there's a reason I was drinking the night before.

    • by ls671 ( 1122017 )

      It could also be the overdose of booze taken over the week-end.

  • Bullshit (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 01, 2017 @06:31AM (#54724183)

    Robert Stebbins works as a sociologist so I can understand his need to pursue valuable activities over the weekend, because he's sure as hell not doing anything of value during the week. However, for people with careers that allow them to do valuable, challenging work in the week, I think it's better to have a relax on the weekend.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

      sociologist so I can understand his need to pursue valuable activities over the weekend, because he's sure as hell not doing anything of value during the week

      As distinct from ... office work?
      Come on AC, how many people here do you think are surgeons or in the fire brigade? Farmers have a right to sneer at most of us for not doing useful work.

    • However, for people with careers that allow them to do valuable, challenging work in the week, I think it's better to have a relax on the weekend.

      Likely true, but that's a tiny fraction of the population.

  • by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Saturday July 01, 2017 @06:32AM (#54724187)

    "If you don't feel rejuvenated and keen to face Monday after two work-free days, there might be a reason: You're doing your weekend wrong,"

    But it's far more likely that if you feel tired when returning to work, it is because you spent the whole weekend partying.

    And if not burning the candle at both ends, then chasing around after your children: taxiing them all over the place, shopping, cleaning, tidying, doing laundry, home maintenance, cooking and walking the dog.

  • Talk about taking the whole 'self improvement' thing too far. The weekend should come with a WTFPL licence.

  • Serious leisure activities provide deeper fulfillment, and -- to invoke a fuzzy '70s word -- "self-actualization."

    If I had time and money to get serious about leisure activities, I wouldn't be working. If I wasn't working, I'd have time to get serious about leisure activities, but I wouldn't have the money. If I earned the money I needed to build the facilities I'd need to go all professional at my leisure activities, I wouldn't have the time.

    I don't feel lesser because I'm not going professional with my leisure. If I did, it would be a job, and it wouldn't be a fun distraction any more.

  • Life's Goal (Score:5, Funny)

    by Calydor ( 739835 ) on Saturday July 01, 2017 @06:54AM (#54724233)

    My goal in life is to BE a passive hedonist, you insensitive clod!

  • Kids (Score:5, Funny)

    by cerberusss ( 660701 ) on Saturday July 01, 2017 @07:13AM (#54724283) Homepage Journal

    "If you don't feel rejuvenated and keen to face Monday after two work-free days, there might be a reason: You're doing your weekend wrong,"

    That, or you have kids.

    Instead, the weekend goal should be "eudaimonic" happiness

    No, the goal should be to buy condoms and build a time machine.

    • by c ( 8461 )

      Instead, the weekend goal should be "eudaimonic" happiness

      No, the goal should be to buy condoms and build a time machine.

      Good idea. Building a time machine sounds exactly like the sort of goal that would bring "eudaimonic" happiness.

    • No, the goal should be to buy condoms and build a time machine.

      Not having to worry about sex is just one of the many advantages of the nerd lifestyle!

      • by aliquis ( 678370 )

        Not having to worry about sex is just one of the many advantages of the nerd lifestyle!

        The ultimate Asperger life-style though is of course to dedicate your whole life to it but not get anything of it.

    • Re:Kids (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Saturday July 01, 2017 @10:57AM (#54724853)

      That, or you have kids.

      Definitely, this.

      Weekends are a completely different thing with small children. From birth until early teens, you can likely expect to lose a lot of weekend time to activities related to childcare (playing with them, cleaning up after them, ferrying them to various activities, etc.). Combine that with basic stuff you HAVE to do -- like cleaning up the house in general, home maintenance, etc. -- and weekends are often gone.

      Well, unless you want to be that dad who spends every weekend in his study with his stamp collection or building a ship in a bottle and yelling at his little kids to "go away" when they bother him. And you'll need a cooperative spouse (or hire a nanny).

      Sure, you can incorporate kids (even little kids once they're at least toddlers) in a lot of weekend maintenance and such, but be prepared for everything to take twice as long. Once they get older, you can often incorporate them into a hobby like woodworking or some other craft activity, but that may or may not be as satisfying as devoting your own time to honing your own skills.

      It's great and all to talk about "self actualization" on the weekends, and I did a lot of that in my spare time on the weekends in my 20s. Then "life happened." Once kids hit their teens, you may be able to reclaim more time for your weekend leisure. But a lot of people spend many years of their adult lives with lots of weekend responsibilities they can't get out of. You can't really blame them for taking the few hours of "downtime" they end up with and sitting in front of the TV or whatever.

    • But you'd only have time to do this if you succeed. Then if you succeed you wouldn't have the need
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I am lucky that I can bring my leisure hobby with me wherever I go. Be it at work, home, or even a baseball game, I can always take a few moments to enjoy masturbation.

  • Yes! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by demon driver ( 1046738 ) on Saturday July 01, 2017 @07:41AM (#54724333) Journal

    More hard, goal-driven work even on the weekend! That's what we need!

    No. For a person who's already got a somewhat strenuous full-time job, I'd say that would be the best method to accelerate becoming burnt out. (And I've met burnout cases who'd fit that pattern, with therapists rather suggesting to subscribe to less strenuous, goal-directed activities at the weekends, too...)

  • walking with smartphone in front of the nose, in subways, even school ... barely noticing other humans around and not making many friends and real life social interactions anymore, ... In other words: internet / social media addicted. imagine how much time for useful stuff people would have, if they put their "smart"phone aside! :-/
  • So refining your gaming skillz counts...

  • by Notabadguy ( 961343 ) on Saturday July 01, 2017 @08:23AM (#54724411)

    My favorite part of weekends would be where I can do whatever the fuck I want, whenever the fuck I want to without worrying about a deadline. Telling people that they're spending their time in measurably non-optimal efforts is not the way to win friends and influence people.

    • PS, I'm about to sit my old ass in front of a T.V. and play video games all weekend.

      FFXIV - so I'll do challenge logs and work towards quests and goals that can be measured.

    • Very much this. Whether you are vegging out in front of the TV, busy with a hobby, taking the kids out to the park, or doing something incredibly self-actualizing, a good weekend is one where you are off the clock, and off the dayplanner. I know people who are rather keen to spent their time well and end up worrying every moment they aren't engaged in something "worthwhile", whatever the hell that may be. Not the best way to relax.

      By the way /. you are doing your headlines wrong. Stop with the clickb
  • Winston Churchill (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Harvey Manfrenjenson ( 1610637 ) on Saturday July 01, 2017 @08:28AM (#54724433)

    Towards the end of his life, Churchill wrote a little book called "Painting as a Pastime", which is all about his favorite hobby of painting. In the introductory remarks he makes the same point as the author of this article, but in a somewhat more charming and less pretentious manner. I would also point out that he didn't require a doctorate in sociology in order to arrive at this insight.

    • I would also point out that he didn't require a doctorate in sociology in order to arrive at this insight.

      I am far from convinced that having a doctorate in sociology helps to draw any conclusions about human behaviour.

    • Nobody needs a doctorate in sociology to get to any insight, but unless they are famous, people need a doctorate for others to take heed at what they say.
    • Sociology these days are unfortunately often just a word to make your opinions sound better. Why else would we have sociology branches in feminist theory or gender theory with insane studies like this? ( http://journals.sagepub.com/do... [sagepub.com] )

      • The sad thing is: sociology, gender studies and all that stuff are valid areas of research. Scientific research. The problem with most sociology departments is that they no longer apply scientific methods or scientific filters or indeed any filters, and you end up with crap like that paper, and everything else that resonates well in their politically correct echo chamber. A friend of mine started on a sociology major, and found out the hard way that dissent (in the form of opinion or cold hard facts) is
        • A friend of mine started on a sociology major, and found out the hard way that dissent (in the form of opinion or cold hard facts) is not appreciated, as opposed to almost all other departments where fresh points of view are welcomed.

          I know of 5 people (just in my own social circles) that quit their academic pursuits simply because the sociology departments weren't interested in research, they in fact became angry and threatening when presented with actual corroborated conclusions. These areas have become remarkably anti-intellectual and venomous, which is also why the language used has become so technical (you can't say men are to blame for everything, you have to say toxic masculinity etc).

    • Do you have a favorite quote from that book that might be relevant here? It sounds interesting.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Prisons are full of the "self-actualized".

  • by qbast ( 1265706 ) on Saturday July 01, 2017 @08:47AM (#54724467)
    Spend a week working. Then spend a weekend working as well. Rinse and repeat. Several years of this and you are seriously start to considering putting a gun in your mouth and pulling the trigger, just to escape the cursed treadmill.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Doesn't this miss the point of Mazlow's Heirarchy of Needs though?

    It's all well and good to say that self-actualization's the pinnacle of human achievement, but Mazlow claimed you have to be able to satisfy the lower levels of the pyramid before you effectively have a chance to work on more ephemeral needs. People who are starving and need shelter don't have a lot of energy to spare for the need for leisure. Similarly people who have to work 9-5 probably can't afford to focus on a deep, meaningful leisure a

  • If weekends are supposed to be for self-actualization what is work then?
  • Uh huh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nehumanuscrede ( 624750 ) on Saturday July 01, 2017 @09:11AM (#54724545)

    Doing it wrong they say. How about this.

    MY weekends are at least partially spent doing all the household / homeowner chores and tasks I don't have time to do during the week after I get home from work.

    Clean house. Aquarium maintenance, other pet maintenance. Yard related stuff. Grocery store run. Laundry. Any and all errands I need to do during the hours when I'm off and the business I need to interact with is open.

    Sometimes I dread Saturday almost as much as Monday.

  • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Saturday July 01, 2017 @09:18AM (#54724573) Journal

    This means spending the weekend on serious leisure activities that require the regular refinement of skills: your barbershop-quartet singing, ... You pursue serious leisure with the earnest tenor of a professional, even if the pursuit is amateur.

    and even if you're an earnest tenor.

  • by sid crimson ( 46823 ) on Saturday July 01, 2017 @09:20AM (#54724581)

    ...like those in the trades, probably best rejuvenate and relax best by working their minds. Those who work with their minds, probably best rejuvenate and relax by being more active.

    I heard that somewhere, but can't give proper attribution.

  • Work-free Days? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by seven of five ( 578993 ) on Saturday July 01, 2017 @09:26AM (#54724589)
    Even when I was single my weekends weren't entirely work-free. In the past 20 years, my earning power has steadily waned, so evenings/weekends have been packed with side hustles and chores, with a little leisure if I was lucky.
  • by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Saturday July 01, 2017 @09:30AM (#54724601)

    and then has Saturday and Sunday off

  • Abraham Maslow says the weekend goal should be "eudaimonic" happiness, which is a sense of well-being that arises from meaningful, challenging activities that cause you to grow as a person.

    I would "grow as a person" if Mr Maslow would shut the fuck up and mind his own business.

    • Well, he has been dead for decades, so he's pretty quiet. I also suspect that, were he questioned on the subject while alive, he would say that work would be where you focus on self-actualization.
  • Translates to "conducive to happiness happiness" - People who use uncommon words that poorly are just using them to try to obscure that the activities they're trying to maintain as a living are not-worth-anything activities. Basically the entire purpose of sociologists.
    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      Personally, I'm against people who give vent to their loquacity by extraneous bombastic circumlocution.

    • by Pfhorrest ( 545131 ) on Saturday July 01, 2017 @03:14PM (#54726037) Homepage Journal

      "Eudaimonic" in general English means "conducive to happiness" because "eudaimonia" is a Greek word that most closely translates into English as "happiness", but in classical Greek philosophy "eudaimonia" means a specific kind of happiness. (Similar to how there are a bunch of different words for love: eros, agape, philos, etc). TFA is saying that that kind of happiness is what one should pursue, as opposed to a different kind of happiness.

      Specifically, eudaimonia, which literally translated to something more like "good spirits", means something like "a life well lived", a life of achievement and intellectual self-satisfaction; as opposed to something like hedonia, which is just physiological pleasure.

  • Contrary to the submitter's statement about how good you feel about going back to work, I don't see anything in the article suggesting that these "serious leisure activities" leave you feeling better about the end of the weekend or leave you more well-rested. Just a bunch of "actualize your potential" bullshit.

  • ..and come Friday you will pry my cold dark beer from my cold dead hands

  • I'm doing it wrong - I'm reading slashdot on the weekend instead of relaxing.
  • I'm pretty darned self-actualized at work. I have a very challenging and intellectually rewarding job (I'm a scientist with my own small business). I chose this after trying out a string of jobs that paid much better and came with more professional recognition, but didn't make me feel like I was actually useful. While at those other jobs I spent a lot of time on hobbies like gardening, cooking, and fiddling around with projects in my garage. I don't find I have the need or the desire to do that right no

  • If you don't feel rejuvenated and keen to face Monday after two work-free days, you might be suffering from a condition known in the medical literature as kids.

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