We know how sacred weekends are to busy professionals. Often, it is the only time in the week you are truly able to indulge in your hobbies, spend time with loved ones or just camp out on the couch with a tub of ice cream watching TV.
But with the rules around what constitutes a traditional work day changing faster than you can say “work-life balance”, can proper time management over the weekend actually make you more productive?
While the thought of trudging back into the office on a Saturday isn’t appealing, working on weekends isn’t as daunting if I know I’m only setting aside a couple of hours on Saturday morning to wrap up a feature or transcribe an interview.
This also balances out the flexible working schedule I have between Monday and Friday, where I might take off an hour early if a meeting ends at 5pm, or come in half an hour later following a two-day conference.
However, if you or your employees still need a bit of convincing – and to make sure you’re still getting the most out of your weekend – here are six things to keep in mind.
1. Proper planning never hurts
It will take a while to completely warm up to the idea of spending Saturday morning working, be it at the office, a café or at home. But keep in mind that if you stay disciplined and only spend, say, 8am to 11am powering through work, it leaves you the rest of Saturday and all of Sunday to do whatever you want.
2. Weekends are way less distracting
Chances are a majority of your colleagues won’t be in the office on a Saturday. This means you get all the quiet time you need. Imagine not being interrupted by annoying colleagues, phone calls, couriers or meetings.
3. Make a to-do list, and stick to it
The secret here is to realise you’re not aiming to complete what you usually would on a regular work day. Working on a weekend serves as extra time to catch up on work you might have missed out on during the week, or getting a head start on the following week. Draw up a short, achievable to-do list, and only jot down things that absolutely need to be done. Everything else can wait until Monday morning.
4. You get to start Monday on a clean slate
Let’s face it – Monday mornings can be hellish before you even arrive at your desk. Spending half an hour Sunday night after the rest of the house has gone to bed to go through your email and set to-do list for the week (can you tell yet that I’m a huge believer of to-do lists?) might just be what you need to smooth out the rough edges of Monday morning.
5. Keep this your little secret
While your colleagues are going to realise sooner or later that you’re working over the weekend, make sure they don’t use it as an opportunity for them to add even more to your workload because you’re putting in extra hours. Remember that working a couple of hours on a Saturday or Sunday serve as time for you to touch base and catch up with your own work life.
6. Have fun
Work can also be fun. Creativity and inspiration can come from anywhere, so don’t take working weekends too seriously. Celebrate the end of a two-hour weekend work session with watching a cartoon with the kids, taking the dogs out for a walk or spending a long lunch with friends. You never know where an idea might hit or when you might gain some clarity into an office problem that’s been plaguing you.
Have a great weekend, and remember to take it easy!