We have Henry Ford to thank for our weekends. Just two days off every week to relax, get organised, see the people we love, do some washing, watch some TV and most importantly, have fun. It’s 48 hours which should be super relaxing, but often isn’t, as we end up doing so much. Plenty of us come into the office on Monday feeling drained after our ‘two days of relaxation’ - and we start the week more stressed than we should be.

The honest truth is that we don’t plan our weekends. I’m not talking military precision - you don’t have to wake up at 6am to tidy your room - but I am talking about the dreaded double whammy of a) not knowing what needs to be done and b) getting so tiddly on Friday night that Saturday’s a write-off, and Sunday just slips by unnoticed as you lounge on the sofa feeling regretful.

There are two hard and fast rules to a productive weekend you should remember before anything else. The first is simple. Getting drunk, at any point, will hinder your plans. The second is, well, to plan. Planning is the answer. It is the key to a successful weekend.

OK, Let’s DO THIS. Here’s what you need to remember about weekends in order to arrive back at work feeling refreshed and ready to go.

  • Towards the end of the week, do some ‘surface admin’ which would otherwise take time up at the weekend. Clean your sheets. Hoover. Have a bit of a tidy. That way you’re up and ready to go when Saturday rolls around and you won’t have to spend the entire day behaving like Mrs Mop
  • Never feel guilty about spending an entire day lounging around, napping, or just catching up with a good book in your pyjamas. This is your free time. Not only is it much cheaper than going out, but it’s also really, really nice
  • Have a clear idea of what you’re doing and when, and plan around it. This is where you have to be ruthless. So, if you have a 10am roadtrip planned for Saturday, that means Friday night will have to be an early one - sorry!
  • On the subject of timing, be realistic. Is an 8am coffee with your Mum on Sunday a good idea? Will you be a bit grouchy, and perhaps better company after 10am? Don’t feel that you have to squeeze everything in at a time which suits others; make sure you’re happy, too
  • Plan, plan, plan. If you’re lucky (or unlucky) enough to be going out both nights, anticipate what you’ll need on Saturday and Sunday morning. Stock up on the foods you love, energy drinks, and snacks. This will stop you ordering a pizza at 11am, or spending huge amounts at the local newsagents
  • If you know you’ll be travelling around the UK, book your tickets in advance. Buying tickets on the day means you’ll be paying almost twice the price
  • If you think you’re going to have a ‘big’ weekend, make no plans. You will either be late, or cancel at the last minute. Leave your diary totally clear. You can always do stuff on the spur of the moment if you’re feeling OK
  • If you don’t end up doing everything you meant to do, don’t worry. You can still take stuff to the charity shop during the week. You can still make that lasagne. The best way to carry that weekend feeling with you is to be kind to yourself!
  • Finally, plan for that Sunday Night Anxiety. Make sure you’ve got your gym kit ready to go, your packed lunch in the fridge, an outfit laid out, and your breakfast smoothie is made! You can then relax with a film and get into your pyjamas, safe in the knowledge that Monday’s in the bag

If you're one of those people who has just skipped to the end of an article in the vague hope of reading a summary, you're in luck. Here's a quick and easy takeaway for people who are too busy to read properly.

1. Don't ever feel you need to cram your weekends full of things to do. It's your time to take it easy. If you want to just do nothing, that's OK

2. Never feel embarrassed about using this time to tidy up your home, and do some life admin. You'll feel so much better afterwards

3. Don't let anyone ever tell you what weekends are 'for'. What you choose to do and who you choose to see is your business - and that includes staying in to potter around the house, sorting everything out

4. If you have a big event, tailor your weekend around that. If Saturday night's the night of the big bash, take it easy on Friday, etc

5. Take things at your pace! There's no point rushing around in order to please everyone - relax, give yourself plenty of time to get from A to B, and just enjoy the time you have