Most people don’t want to do anything but relax on the weekends. Understandably, they want to spend their free time relaxing, catching up on their favourite TV shows, or simply hanging out with friends and family.
However, you could be spending these two days much more productively. And why should you do that? Because people who utilise their weekends productively often feel less stressed and have an easier time meeting deadlines during the week.
That doesn’t mean that you should spend your only available free time working, though. If you manage the time well, you could get some tasks out of the way and still have time to relax. To help you do just that, here are 6 ways to be more productive on the weekends.
1. Have a plan
Yes, it’s great to escape a structured day that’s planned down to the last minute, but planning your weekend is actually a really good – and useful – idea. Just as Friday comes to an end, try to decide how you’re going to tackle your weekend. It’s a good idea to get weekend projects or assignments out of the way in the mornings, so you have the rest of the day free to use as you want.
2. Don’t overwork yourself
Overworking yourself will only add to your stress and defeat the purpose of having a weekend. Although it’s always tempting to work on the weekends and simply get things out of the way, it’s healthier to slow down a little. Instead of working as hard as you would during the week, try to unplug and relax. Stop checking your emails and pick an assignment or a project that you would enjoy doing. This way, you’ll be working on something without adding to your stress.
3. Turn off email notification
Emails have a way of dragging you back to work. Often, a new email will come in and you’ll be compelled to work. Most people forget that they have the right to take a break, and they dive into work even on weekends. The best way to avoid this is to only check your emails once or twice a day. If there are any urgent issues, tackle them and get them out of the way.If you’re guilty of checking your emails more often than you should, The 4 Hour Workweek has some great suggestions on how to switch off on evenings and weekends.
4. Avoid sleeping in
You only have two days of free time – do you really want to waste it with sleeping in? Most people love oversleeping on the weekends but it’s not a good idea, for several reasons. Not only would getting an extra four or five hours of sleep disturb your natural sleep cycle and leave you feeling dull and tired, but you’ll also find waking up on Monday a lot more difficult. To avoid this, try not to oversleep by more than two or three hours. Some people actually wake up early to make the most of their weekends. You can read more about the negative effects of sleeping in on the BBC News website.
5. Focus on relaxation
After a busy week, your mental batteries need to be recharged and your body needs to relax – and the best way to do that is by doing something you love and enjoy. You could have a massage, play with your kids, read a book, or take a weekend trip somewhere nice. The idea is to get away from the monotony of everyday life for a little while. Some people think that this might not be productive, but it really is, and you’ll feel much more refreshed and ready to work on Monday.
6. Get some exercise
Unfortunately, professionals with packed schedules rarely have time for exercise. More often than not, physical exercise takes a backseat in favour of a deadline, a meeting, an important project, or other commitments. However, this can have negative consequences.If you don’t have much time during the week, you can still stay active by exercising on the weekends. And it doesn’t even have to mean heading for the gym. You could go hiking, go for a run, bike through scenic routes, swim, or simply walk through the neighbourhood a couple of times.
If you need some more tips on how to be more productive and manage your time more effectively, Activia has plenty of tricks and how-to articles on the subject.
How do you usually spend your weekends? Do you have any other tips to get the most out of these two days? Let us know!