The key to maximizing productivity, preserving fitness and curbing spending – all while maintaining a vibrant social life.
Ah New York City. What an amazing place. Culture seems to just ooze through the countless cafes, bars and restaurants. It doesn’t matter if its Tuesday night or Saturday night, there is ALWAYS something going on in this wonderful city.
With seemingly infinite options on any given night of the week, it’s easy to get carried away here. You go out for a couple of dinners, a happy hour or two, a big night out and a brunch. Next thing you know its Monday morning and time to do it all over again. The only problem with thriving like this is EVERYTHING costs money.
This is the exact trap I fell into after I moved into NYC. I was enjoying all this city had to offer and not paying attention to the mounting expenses. But I mean who can blame me, I was young, financially unaware and just living the dream in NYC. However, after a few months of reckless spending, I finally started to track my expenses and make some changes.
Monday-Wednesday (Grind Days)
These are not the most exciting days, but they are critical. Get a workout in, cook dinner at home, prepare lunch for work and go to bed early. Yes, sounds boring and miserable, but that’s why they are grind days. Your body will thank you for the exercise, healthy food and proper sleep.
Thursday (The Chill Night Out)
Your almost through the work week and have been on your grind the past 3 days. Your feeling fit, somewhat rested and you haven’t been spending money. Time for a little reward. Hit a happy hour or try a new restaurant with some friends. The social interaction will feel liberating, especially after 3 days of being a hermit.
Friday (The Calm Before the Storm)
The MOST important rest day. Yes, you read that correctly, I am telling you to stay in on Friday night and take it easy. Do something that you find truly relaxing. Hit the gym (optional), watch a movie, take a bubble bath. Seriously do whatever you please, as long as it doesn’t involve blowing money at a bar or a restaurant. Making Friday night a rest night is huge for 2 reasons:
- Your likely exhausted from the work week, just embrace it. If you force yourself to go out, you may end up just counting down the minutes until you can reunite with your bed.
- You will wake up early Saturday (without an alarm) and feel fantastic
Saturday (The Day of Freedom)
The best day of the week has arrived, you feel great and it’s not even 9 AM! Go for a run, hit the local farmers market, start that book you’ve been meaning to read, or simply just enjoy the peace and quiet while the rest of the city recovers from their hangovers. From here Saturday can go one of two ways:
- Seize the Day: take advantage when the weather is nice and go for a brunch (bottomless perhaps?). However, if you end up drinking, then treat the day as your “night out”. Don’t try to be hero and go out at night afterwards. Doing so becomes very expensive and taxing to your body.
- The Night Owl: perhaps you have some errands to get done or simply want to enjoy your free time during the day. Make the most of the daylight hours and then cap it off with some lively Saturday nightlife.
Sunday (Quality Time)
The true day of rest. Sleep in and pass on the workout. Maybe spend an hour to prepare lunches for the upcoming work week? If possible, try not to be a hermit today, after all you have Monday-Wednesday for that. Plan a homemade dinner with some family/friends and just enjoy the company of your favorite people.
The sample laid out above is meant to represent an average week. Of course, there will be busier weeks with more going on and other weeks where you don’t feel like interacting with anyone at all. There will also be weeks where you want to go out for dinner on Tuesday instead of Thursday and so on. The days are ultimately interchangeable.
While I developed this routine while living in NYC, I believe it can be applied anywhere in the world. At the end of the day its really just about achieving YOUR ideal balance. So try it, tweak it and find something that works for you!