Have you been yearning for a stress-free, enjoyable, and relaxing weekend?
Are you looking for some simple ways to fully enjoy your time at home or on a weekend getaway trip?
We all know that weekends are a regular weekly occurrence.
But have you ever considered whether or not you’re spending your hours in the most productive way possible?
You may inadvertently find yourself always being “on” when it comes to work, not having enough personal time and space for yourself, or simply feeling as if the weekend is a continuation of the work week…
If this is the case for you, don’t worry!
You can take some easy steps to ensure your weekends are restful, relaxing, and enjoyable.
In this post, I offer four helpful tips to help you manage your precious personal time for a more relaxing weekend.
Your free time is truly valuable.
All the more reason to make a concerted effort to make the most of your time off!
Create an end of the workweek routine.
Finish your week on a high note by creating a helpful end of workweek routine.
Not only do regular routines allow you to get work done, but they can be extremely helpful transitioning your mind and body from the work setting, to more relaxing time spent at home. There’s no doubt whatsoever that the weekend is near.
When it comes to creating your own end of workweek routine, break out of the box and allow your creativity to shine! Which tasks would help you wrap up your week on a productive and positive note and leave you feeling accomplished?
Consider all those little to-dos and tasks that tend to get pushed aside during the week. These may be any form of administrative tasks, upgrading software, fixing broken or damaged equipment, cleaning or tidying up a space, and so one.
Here’s some examples of end of week routines you can try out. And of course, feel free to create your own!
- Process expense receipts
- Shred papers in a recycling bin
- Delete old emails in your inbox
- Prepare letters and packages for mailing
- Upgrade software or operating systems on electronic devices
- Back up your computer
- Store active files in filing cabinet
- Return borrowed items to storage area
- Remove trash and recycling
- Water indoor plants
- Switch off overhead lights to your office
While you’re at it, you may also want to add a complementary personal routine for yourself after work at home.
Knowing you have a fun or enjoyable routine waiting for you at the end of the week can be incredibly motivating and rewarding. Which task or tasks would help you seamlessly transition from work time to personal time?
Feel free to brainstorm some fun ideas. How about a well-deserved coffee break, playing your special music playlist during your commute, or enjoying a delicious dinner at home with family?
Log out of work email.
Do you find yourself checking work email over the weekend?
A quick look on your smart phone might not seem like much harm, but every time you sneak a peek at your work email, you are effectively reducing your rest and relaxation time during the weekend.
The solution? Leave your work email at work.
Start the process by making a list of all devices that have access to your work email accounts at home, such as your desktop computer, laptop, smart phone, tablet, or wearable device.
You’re now going to decide how you’re going to handle email access for each device, which will ultimately depend on how you use the device during the week, and whether or not you use the device for work related items.
Here three options to take when it comes to your work email:
- Completely log out of your work email accounts on weekends. This prevents you from checking email on auto-pilot.
- Disable email alerts and updates. There’s no need to distract yourself with incoming email alerts on the weekend.
- Remove email accounts from specific devices. This will allow you to solely focus on personal and household items.
Lastly, a simple way to get off of email (and all other digital distractions during the weekend) is to simply switch off your cellphone for certain hours or days during the weekend.
This can be done at any time of your choosing, be it morning, afternoon, evening, or nighttime. You’ll of course want to alert friends and family to the fact that you’ll be unavailable before you turn off your phone.
And when it comes to turning off your phone, it’s important to turn it completely off. Not on airplane mode, not on silent, not with the volume down, you need to switch the device completely off.
And just like that, you’ve created some peace and quiet yourself on the weekend!
Schedule time for yourself.
Does it always feel as if you’re running around on weekends doing things for others? Perhaps you’re always helping out a neighbor with never-ending yard work, shuttling around your friend’s kids from soccer to ice skating, volunteering half your day at the soup kitchen, and blindly accepting invitations to events without considering your own schedule.
While helping others is a good thing, there is a limit to what a single human being can do! If you’re feeling physically, mentally, and spiritually drained by your weekend activities, then it’s a good sign that you need to make time for yourself in your schedule.
There are two ways to go about scheduling time for yourself in your calendar. You can choose to mentally set aside time for yourself as in declaring, “On Saturday after 3 P.M., I’m only focusing on myself.” You can then make any necessary adjustments or changes to your schedule for this to happen.
As a second option, if you find you need more structure or discipline, you can physically schedule time for yourself directly into your favorite calendar or planner.
Now that you’ve scheduled time for yourself, you’re good to go, right? Well, you’re not out of the scheduling woods just yet! You’ll still have to protect the time you’ve carved out for yourself. You’re going to have to decline invitations and say “no” to different opportunities that present themselves so you can keep your personal time for yourself.
What should you do if you receive an invite to a party, event, or outing and you’ve scheduled time for yourself in your calendar? Honor and respect your personal time by declining the invitation. A kind statement such as, “Thank you for the invitation, but I am unable to attend. I’ve already got plans,” will suffice.
Avoid planning your work week on Sunday.
You may be tempted to plan your weekly to-dos and review your upcoming appointments on Sunday evening. You’re starting before the week begins, so you’ll get a head start on your work, right? While this action may seem like a clever idea, the fact of the matter is that you are cutting your weekend time short by several hours.
Your work planning time should not cut into your personal time. Sure, you may believe there is no other time during the week to do your planning, but most likely it’s because you haven’t yet taken the time to carve out work planning sessions for yourself when you’re on the clock.
There is ample time for you to plan your work week at work and relax during the weekend. You just have to reschedule your planning time for a different slot during the week.
Instead of planning your work week on Sundays, take advantage of the slower work periods of Thursday afternoons, Friday mornings, or Friday afternoons. Workloads and meetings generally tend to dwindle around these times. Naturally, you’ll have more time and space to reflect upon the week that’s past and plan the week that’s yet to come.
What are some tasks you can work on during your planning sessions? Try any of the following suggestions or create your own:
- Schedule time to work on projects and assignments in your calendar
- Confirm meetings and appointments for the following week
- Add or adjust travel time for meetings and appointments in your calendar
- Prepare project or assignment specific to-do lists
- Review travel itineraries or schedules
How about you? How do you plan your weekends to make sure you’ll have a relaxing few days off from work? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!