For the world’s most successful people, the weekend is more than an opportunity to kick back and relax. It’s the chance to invest into different priorities. Instead of going into the office, checking emails every few hours, or taking business calls, the weekend is a chance to spend time with family and friends. It’s a chance to recharge for a new week of productivity.
Why is this so important? Of course your family and friends appreciate your time. Studies have also shown that once an individual works 55 hours in a week, their productivity levels decline to virtually zero. Someone who works 70 hours per week is producing at the same levels as the person working 55 hours per week.
Yet the weekend can provide some traps that can kill your future productivity as well. Avoid these traps and you might just find success knocking at your door.
#1. Sleeping In
If you have a sleep debt which needs to be erased, then go to bed earlier on the weekend instead of sleeping in. Because you get up later than normal for 1 or 2 mornings, you’re actually resetting your biological clock. This will make it much more difficult to wake up when the alarm rings on Monday morning. Get up at the same time every day and your mind will be ready to get some work done after the weekend.
#2. A Full 2 Days
Weekends deserve some adventure. They deserve some family time. What often gets neglected is the personal time a person needs as well. Try to give yourself some personal time in the morning when your mind is the most awake. Consider adding some meditation to this time as well. Then think about scheduling a day trip or a partial day trip with family or friends instead of a weekend-long adventure for best results.
#3. No Fun
You’ve worked hard all week. You should be able to have some fun on the weekend. There will always be dishes to wash, laundry to do, and repairs around the house which need to get made. If that’s all you ever do on the weekend and you hate doing chores, then you’re not having any fun. Those chores can be set aside for awhile so you can do something relaxing or pursue something you’re passionate about. Painting, writing, composing, long walks by the beach – forget the excuses and just go do it.
#4. Staying Connected
If you’re still plugged into the rest of the world during the weekend, then there will always be the temptation to work. You might be able to fight it off for awhile, but eventually you’ll cave in. It happens to the best of us. To make the most out of your weekend, try disconnecting yourself from all of your electronic devices. Burnout quickly happens when you’re forcing yourself to be on-call 24/7.
#5. Zero Preparation
The weekend is also a great time to reflect on the accomplishments of the past week. This reflection time allows people to prepare themselves for the week ahead. You don’t need to spend a lot of time in preparation – just 30-60 minutes on a Sunday evening will do. If you can make this time happen, then you can make the coming week a little easier to navigate.
Unlocking the potential of the weekend ultimately means letting go of your professional responsibilities. Think of it as a “mini-retirement.” Sure – there will be interruptions and emergencies that happen and will need your attention. What is more important is your mindset. If you can bring all of this together and give yourself permission to let things go over the weekend, you may find your productivity levels can skyrocket.