Many people work frantically through their weekends with the goal of catching up. Others do so because they are workaholics or simply don’t know what else to do with their free time. Whatever the reasons may be, over-working on the long run leads to a burn-out and decline in creativity.
It’s not about how much or how many hours a day you work. It’s about the efficiency of your work, and the quality of the outcome. Weekends are designed to give your brain a break so you get refreshed and become more efficient and creative when the week starts again. If you labor through the weekend, you risk feeling tired and drained for an entire week. So whatever you accomplished over the weekend gets diluted during the work-week.
Here are some tips to organize your work during the week so you can switch off once Thursday ends and the weekend starts:
End your week by planning ahead for the next one. Write down a list of important projects you need to finish during the next week and allocate enough time to produce quality work. In fact, it’s a good practice to plug in working time you allocate for projects into your calendar in the form of appointments. This way, you protect your quality time by avoiding scheduling or accepting meetings that will disrupt your thinking process during these times.
Distribute your chores over the week. Not everything is time sensitive and has to be done at once. Schedule your routine tasks over days and tackle them when they are due. Leave ample time to work on projects or proposals so you feel you’ve accomplished something productive. If you spend the entire day doing chores, you’ll probably get a lot done but you won’t feel as satisfied as you do for instance when you finish and send off a great proposal.
Do absolutely nothing on Friday and spend the entire day with your family or friends. Try to switch off your email on your phone and resist the temptation to reply. It could take one email reply to trigger an email flood with people that have different weekends. Don’t worry, your emails won’t go anywhere and they won’t be auto-deleted if you don’t reply within a day.
If you’re really late with some projects and absolutely must work over the weekend, do so on Saturday afternoons. But remember that your Saturdays are better utilized by running your home and family chores, like getting that car fixed or doing some handy-work around the house. These chores are fun during the weekend, but can stress you out during work-days as they consume precious time that you can’t spare. Plus, you’ll be amazed by how much creative thinking your brand can do when you for example assemble that new garden furniture that’s been sitting around in boxes for weeks.
Review your list of projects for the next week on Saturday evening (don’t take longer than 5 – 10 minutes) and put your mind in a productive and creative mode by envisioning the outcome of your work next week. Focus on the results of the work you plan to finish and be determined to succeed.
Remember, two-day weekends are there for a reason; to give you time to recuperate your energies and recharge your batteries. Plus, your family will appreciate the quality time spent with you.
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