For many of us, Monday mornings are a time for frenzied catch-ups, inbox unloads and quick caffeine fixes. A punishment for a well-spent weekend. And yet, even as the next weekend rolls around, what would it be without last-minute deadlines and emails from the boss? The truth is, most of us operate on a 7-day work week without realizing it. Because, are we ever really mentally checked out of the workplace?

If you find yourself using the weekend to recover from the work week, only to be flung into yet another one, here are some tips to help you maximize your weekends and your weekdays.

Practice New Skills

If you’re like most of us, you likely spend five days of the week staring into a laptop screen. This is why it becomes important to mix things up on the weekend by giving yourself new outlets and opportunities to learn. Opt for online certificate courses, pick up a new instrument or take up an art form. Broadening your existing skill set can keep you relevant and help you shine beyond your current role. Also, keep your brain buzzing with new activities, and it can spark changes in the neurons, allowing you to seek new perspectives, even in the workplace.

Relax, Recharge, Rejuvenate

Consider picking weekend activities that surround you with calmness. Meditation and yoga are known to relieve stress, promote health, enhance focus and channel creativity. Giving yourself time to recharge can work wonders on your productivity and performance at work.

Stock Up on Sleep

When you’re sleep-deprived, you’re not just exhausted continuously, you’re also at an increased risk of stroke, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. In the short run, lack of sleep can also leave you with a foggy memory – the result of a sleep-challenged hippocampus. Fortunately, sleep doesn’t follow a weekday-only policy. So, if you’re pressed for quality sleep through the week, you can more than make up for it on the weekends. A study on sleep deprivation by the University of Chicago followed a group of students who slept only four hours per night for six days. The respondents – who suffered issues like high blood pressure and insulin resistance during this period – instantly lost their symptoms after making up the lost hours of sleep. If you are a consistent loser of sleep, add the lost hours to your next weekend and restore your sleep tally.

Keep Your Weekends Work-free

Weekends are weekends for a reason. Do things you wouldn’t usually do on weekdays. Make time for family, catch up with friends and discover new interests. It’s important to break away from work and give yourself some breathing space. Keep Sunday nights for fun activities with the family. It’s easy to get caught up in planning for the week ahead and thinking about commitments for the next day, but remember this is time for you. Curl up with a good book, make yourself a steaming cup of hot chocolate or watch a movie to end the weekend on a fitting note.

Set Time Limits for Work

Let’s face it; sometimes, you can’t say no. If you are forced to open your laptop, set a hard time limit. When you pace yourself, you’re likely to get work done faster. The best way to follow through with a timer is to work without a charger. So, when the battery’s up, your time’s up!

By planning your weekends well, you can break your week into easy, breezy work days. And you can make the most of your time, every day of the week.

 

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