Tired of working for the weekend? Read this article from our branding expert, Olga Kazakova, to learn crucial ways to make the weekend work for you.
I experienced a defining moment this past holiday weekend. After consecutive months of my Saturdays and Sundays overflowing with commitments, I made a commitment to myself: I was going to rethink the way I spent my weekends.
Weekends are the perfect time to re-charge and re-energize, but so many of us are either overwhelmed by events or spend time focusing on less-than-inspiring activities (Sunday TV watching marathon, anyone?). This combination results in us feeling even more exhausted than we did going into the weekend, and makes for a less productive workweek.
The way we organize our 48 hours per weekend is just as important as the way we spend our Mondays-Fridays. When maximized, weekends give us the fuel to start Monday off with fresh ideas, a positive attitude and a desire to introduce change. To do so, it’s important for us to reflect on experiences and think of ways that we can do our jobs better every single day. The weekend is a perfect time to reflect, clear your head and re-charge those batteries.
If you plan appropriately, you can re-energize yourself and your brand without even knowing it. Some of the best ideas will come to you on a hike, while cooking or when laughing with friends. The key is recognizing these moments and jotting thoughts down for inspiration later. Here are a few recommendations I gathered over the long holiday about ways we can utilize our weekend to work better the following week:
- Define a purpose: This upcoming Friday, spend a few minutes thinking about what your purpose is for the weekend before you leave the office. It could be different each week, or it could be a recurring goal that you’re hoping to strive for. For example, focusing around a goal of trying out an activity that somewhat scares you each weekend (trapeze, bee-keeping classes, SUPing) can broaden your business skills. Gaining new experiences that you typically wouldn’t try makes you more tenacious and open-minded to new business ideas. Plus, it instills confidence and is usually a whole lot of fun!
- Strive to unplug: When you’re running a business, you have the responsibility of making sure things are running smoothly. But try and set a goal to unplug (at least for a little while) and dedicate your energy towards the moment you’re in. For example, I tend to get very distracted in supermarkets because as I’m bagging up groceries, I’m responding to emails. I’ve started to leave my phone in the car and have learned that even the grocery store can be a place of inspiration. The content, design, shape and smell of products can actually teach you a lot about how you think about marketing. Some of the most effective writing I’ve seen was on box of tea (Celestial Seasonings – this plug’s for you). Some of the best benefit-driven marketing tactics can be spotted at Whole Foods. When you’re not constantly plugged in, you have the ability to experience everyday activities, like grocery shopping, in a completely new way.
- Plan for quiet time: Set aside some quiet time over the weekend and relish the moment. Make a goal to wake up an hour early each Saturday to catch up on articles over a cup of coffee. Instead of reading articles throughout the weekend when you’re out-and-about, knock out some reading early and enjoy the stillness of the morning.
- Exercise: Walk. Run. Hike. Swim. Whatever you do, just get moving! I wish I would take my own advice on this one, because exercise truly is the magic potion for our mental and physical energies. By expending energy through exercise, we create more energy. So just when you think you’ve maxed out from the day, throw in a brisk walk and you’ll get just the boost you need to keep going. You can even use this time to your business’ advantage and learn something new. With tablet technologies, you can catch up on some TED talks or Lynda videos right from the treadmill.
- Clear your schedule: Try and clear your weekend schedule once a month to do the things you love to do. Don’t make plans or commit to any activities – just enjoy the weekend how you want to enjoy it. Having no plans provides the freedom we need to think clearly and completely re-charge.
- Work on your hobby: Just like you do during the workweek, put aside time for planning, doing and generating ideas for the things you’re passionate about. It gives you a great boost of creativity and confidence.
- Prep for the week ahead: When the weekend is winding down, reflect on the ways you re-charged over the weekend and think about what you’d like to do differently next week. Take a few minutes to think about ways you can do your job better and commit to a wonderful week ahead.
How do you spend your weekends? Have you established a comfortable routine, or are there things you would change to re-charge more effectively? I’d love to hear your ideas on how to make the most out of your weekends and how this transcends over to your business.
Olga Kazakova, Director of Corporate Communications, Volusion