Weekends are supposed to be times for rest, relaxation, and recharging to prepare you for the return to work on Monday. More often than not weekends become collections of chores, errands, and tasks you didn't have time for during the week. Add in activities, events, and other commitments and the rest of the weekend quickly disappears. Here's some tips on getting more out of your weekend without burning yourself out.
- Schedule time in your weekend for "down time". Don't count on finding that time in-between your planned activities. Allot time on your calendar specifically for yourself and consider relaxing as important as those other chores on your list.
- Set realistic expectations. Don't try to accomplish every possible thing you could cram into your weekend. Be reasonable and set your goals for things you want and need to accomplish with the understanding that this is time you can run at a slower pace and completed tasks may be fewer but just as important.
- Set a reward task. We need to remind ourselves we've done good work and the weekend is the time to do that. Add a task to your weekend that is a reward to yourself for being productive and focused during the week. Maybe it's a special coffee Sunday morning or a walk through the park Saturday afternoon, in any case it doesn't have to b big and expensive, but it does have to make you feel good and encourage you to keep up your good work.
- Take time to plan the next week. If you take time to make sure you're planned and ready for the next week, then stress levels are lower and you get to enjoy your time off. Set a specific time in your weekend to do your planning and any time your mind wanders back to the regular week, remind yourself that you have time to deal with that already set aside and return your mind to what you're doing.
- Keep a notebook with you. I know this sounds a little counter-intuitive to rest and relaxation, but it actually is a huge benefit when it comes to being in the moment. Rather than having thoughts about work and the coming week rattling around in our heads, trying to remember them while we're trying to relax, just jot the thoughts down and move on. When it comes to planning time you can walk back through the thoughts you've captured with confidence that nothing will slip through the cracks.
Taking time to recharge your batteries, physically, mentally, and emotionally when you have down time is critical to being productive during the rest of your activities. Now...enjoy your weekend!