Every Second Counts: Making the Most of Your Weekends

Many people made drinking less their New Year’s Resolution — this mean fewer days spent hungover and more time to be proactive! If you stick to your word, that is!

So, what can you do with your new-found spare time? Together with The Waterfront Hotel, a wedding venue and spa in Bedfordshire, we bring you some suggestions.


How much free time do you have?

After your 40-hour working week, how much free time do you have on the weekend to do with what you choose? Let’s say you wake up at 9am on the weekend (give yourself a lie-in), and go to bed at 11pm, that’s 14 hours a day that you have to play with. Take three hours each day off for meal time, and two hours per day for seeing family and friends and you’re left with 18 hours over the course of the weekend.


Learn a new language

Why not use the time to learn a new language? Benny Lewis, author of Fluent in 3 Months and fluent speaker of seven languages, estimates that it can take around 400-600 hours to be a proficient speaker at B2 level. This is where you can express yourself on a range of topics and would be able to show someone around an area and give detailed descriptions in the new language.

If you took the average of 500 hours to learn a language, how many weekends would it take? Say you spent eight out of your free 14 hours perfecting the new skill (any more than this could be too intense). It would take you 62.5 weeks — are you up to the challenge?


Learn to drive

Some people choose not to drive for a range of reasons — petrol and general running expenses, environmental factors and the stresses that can come with being behind the wheel. But, driving can open you up to many opportunities. You can look for jobs further afield, venture on driving holidays and visit family and friends who don’t live close by. With a full-time job though, driving can be difficult. How long would it take if you used your weekends to learn how to pass your test?

According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), it takes an average of 45 hours to pass your driving test. With a non-intensive driving instructor, it’s likely that you’ll be able to take 2-hour lessons. The DVSA also advise that you should spend 20 hours revising for your theory test to ensure that you’re fully prepared. That’s 65 hours in total before you’re a fully-fledged driver!

If you have 4 hours of lessons (2 hours per weekend day), you can carry out your practical lessons in 12 weeks. For ten of these weeks, you should spend an hour per weekend day revising for your theory test.



Exercising is a great way to spend your spare time. You can let off some steam, keep fit and improve your overall wellbeing. It can be tough to exercise around a nine-to-five job, but how beneficial is it to exercise at the weekend?

If you enjoy running, why not use your spare time to train for a half-marathon? Experts advise that you should be training at least three times a week. So, if you can fit a training session in mid-week you could be well on your way! Runner’s World suggest that 15 weeks is sufficient to train for the 13.1-mile race — what are you waiting for?

For something less strenuous, take up walking on the weekends. It depends on your weight and distance you walk on how many calories you burn. For a person who weighs 130 pounds (9.3 stone), an hour walk at a moderate pace burns 120-140 calories. If you spent four of your 14 spare hours walking the dog or heading out to the countryside, you could burn 520 calories on your days off!

If you love adventure or have always fancied a winter holiday, you could spend your time learning how to ski. There are many dry slopes in the UK that offer ski lessons. UK indoor ski slope, The Snow Centre, says that to achieve a ‘good’ level of skiing (which means venturing down advanced steeps on the mountain), you need to complete five of their two-hour lessons and two of their two-hour coaching sessions. If you spend five weekends completing two-hour lessons and two weeks on the coaching sessions, you’ll be ready to hit the slopes after seven weeks!

For something a lot more laid back, head to your local spa for a relaxing swim and sauna session. If you have a swim and sauna session for an hour a day on the weekend you can still improve your fitness and wellbeing levels. One 30-minute sauna session can burn as much as 300 calories, and a 30-minute swim can burn 295 calories.


Learning to play an instrument

Ever wished that you could play an instrument? Well, it’s never too late! Not only can you impress your friends with your new ability, but you can use it as a way to de-stress and improve your concentration skills. Suppliers of guitar lessons, Hub Guitar, have suggested that it takes around 312.5 hours to play at beginner level. This is where you have ‘an expanded grasp of fundamentals, and can play several pieces, albeit imperfectly’.

If you spend eight of your free 14 hours learning to play guitar you could reach this level in 40 weeks.


Something else?

Of course, there are endless amounts of things that you can do with your spare time. You could learn to cook, take up photography or even write a novel! Start being proactive and make the most of your weekends.













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