Most of us could use some help on the weekends, especially when we’re not looking for work-related reasons to really be busy. That might mean hitting the books, taking up interesting new hobbies, getting a haircut, or, as I was the weekend before last, meeting up with friends and playing some tennis. In this post, I’m going to tell you about the ways I got to those tennis courts. I’m also going to offer some proven strategies for boosting self-focus and productivity.

1. Set an agenda.

I realized in this meeting that my weekend was about performance. On Monday, I’ll write about that performance.

2. Break things down into smaller ones.

The second step I took was to set up a short weekly agenda, with two potential items for each weekend day. For example, this morning’s agenda might list:

Get dressed and get out of the house. The easiest thing to forget to do is to check your phone and computer. Taking the time to get ready will serve as a reminder to yourself to pay attention to the tasks you’re asked to take care of.

Lunch. There are many ways to eat on a weekend day. This is one of them. My small weekend “meal agenda” consisted of some fruit, some fat-free milk, and some water. The nutrition quotient was pretty high. When I start the new week with a breakfast of this variety, I feel good about my start.

Lunch with friends or family. It’s easy to be grumpy if you’re at a wedding or with co-workers all day long. If you feel hungry and around people, chances are you’ll be more than happy to eat. I’m happy to eat what they’re eating when I go out for food. But, I’ll have the first bite or two because I can, and it’s not worth being grumpy when I’m hungry.

Now come to work. You have a little bit of time to “go deep” on your work. That’s where my tennis date came in. Just drop by, and I’ll hit some hard balls. Since I’m the tennis guy, I’m constantly playing. This weekend, I played at the Boca Raton Tennis Club, and I also played with some of my friends.

My last step is to clean my apartment. I have a mountain of trash, so my weekends often end with a different scent coming out of my home. I cleaned the day before Sunday’s tennis date. It was an unplanned thing, but I’ll try to go this way again on my next weekend.

2. Time isn’t what you make it.

In Sunday night’s pre-match ritual, I will add some time to my schedule, at noon the next day.

5. Break commitments.

At this point, I’ll ask myself: Should I be at work? If I’m not going to be at work, what am I going to do that I enjoy doing? I like to do lots of things. (There are still so many things to do, you know!) I’ll pick a random hobby, do an online survey, or run some errands.

Sunday night is the last day for review. There are still a lot of things I’m going to do on the weekend. Because there’s no pressure to reach all the goals, I tend to be super-busy on Sunday night. I’ll probably email something (play tennis, list my movies and read, etc.), do some chores, and look at emails until almost midnight.

By Monday morning, I have a well-rounded outlook for the next week, which I then apply to my work and the way I live my life. These all seem to me like activities that give meaning to our days.

Long story short: This weekend, I have less to do than usual. I enjoy a lot of it, and that’s reason enough to keep doing the stuff that I enjoy doing. Then on Monday, I start my week with a fresh perspective.

And what will it take to keep me that way?

What would you use me to help with?