THE BLOG
07/20/2013 11:10 am ET Updated Sep 19, 2013

5 Steps to a Blissfully Unproductive Weekend

It's summertime, and the living (should be) easy. Too bad the workweek -- with its hectic pace and jam-packed to-do list -- doesn't always cooperate. For most of us, Friday just can't come soon enough.

Of course, weekends usually come with their own to-do lists. If you find yourself running as fast on the weekend as you do Monday through Friday, you're in serious need of downtime. Shake it up this coming weekend, by following my five steps to becoming blissfully unproductive:

1. Change your mindset, if only for the weekend. If you have a workaholic, productivity-proves-validity mindset, like me, you don't relax easily. Why not try changing your mindset for just a weekend? Everyone needs time to relax and recharge, and anyone who thinks they are productive 24/7 is just kidding themselves anyway. So go ahead, throw relentless productivity to the wind and resolve to be blissfully unproductive this weekend. You can always go back to being a crazed workaholic on Monday.

2. Unplug from your electronics. Put the stresses and obligations of the workweek on hold by separating yourself from your cell phone, tablet or laptop. Deliberately unplugging makes a statement to yourself and others, "I choose to relax and be blissfully unproductive for a few days."

Go one step further and seek out silence. As Deepak Chopra said, "Silence is the great teacher, and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it. There is no substitute for the creative inspiration, knowledge and stability that come from knowing how to contact your core of inner silence."

3. Stay in the moment. As hard as it is to unplug from your electronics, it's even harder to unplug from your monkey mind. You know what monkey mind is -- the incessant chatter of worry, "shoulds," "what ifs" and a past/future focus. When the chatter starts building, take a breath and stop. In that moment of awareness, you create a gap that allows you to recognize the noise for what it is, before it takes you away with it. Practicing "catch and release" of your monkey-mind thoughts keeps you present in the here and now and focuses your mind on one thing at a time.

4. Play. Play is not a luxury. Let me repeat. Play is not a luxury. In fact, play is vital to health and increased productivity. Spontaneous play and the fun it elicits are transformative, and happen more often when you're in the moment. Planning play is as important as planning your meals. And play takes all kinds of forms -- run through the sprinkler, have sex, read a fun book, take a hammock nap or just jump up and down! Play doesn't have to be big and noisy. Play is whatever feeds your soul and makes you feel more alive. Go play!

5. Reconnect with loved ones. Sometimes we're so overwhelmed with obligations, schedules, responsibilities and appointments that we forget to really be with the people we love. If you turn off the TV, phone and laptop -- if you stay in the moment and open yourself to play and fun -- guess where you'll end up? Reconnecting with friends and family!

Good luck, and let me know in the comments what you did to create a little bit of blissfully unproductive heaven this weekend.

For more by Debbie Woodbury, click here.

For more on happiness, click here.