The key to having a great week is to have had a relaxing weekend where your brain and body can recharge. After a week where work is buzzing, the last thing you need to do is power through a weekend of work related thinking and communication. Of course, weekend is a relative term. Many people are engaged in business that needs to run on Saturday and Sunday. Regardless of the day, each person should create a block of time to detach from work so they can be fresh and focused when they start back up again.
Here are 7 tips I find useful in making sure my weekend makes me a better person on Monday.
1. Set a specific end time for work.
Workday creep is the killer of all good weekends. I always plan my Friday with a specific limit. If I don't set that time, I just keep finding things that need to be done and soon, it's Saturday. I don't mind if it's late, but that time has to guide how I schedule the day. Once the time hits, I wrap up as quickly as possible and call it a day.
2. Close out all loose ends.
Anything unfinished in your mind on Friday will likely gnaw at you all through the weekend. You don't have to finish all your work but you do want to address any dangling issues. I always make sure I have responded to all incoming emails, even if only to say that I will address it on Monday. I always review my schedule and to-do lists for the week to make sure I didn't leave anyone or anything major hanging. This helps me rest with great peace of mind.
3. Start with a great meal.
Food is one of life's most simple and greatest pleasures. The weekend deserves to be ushered in with a tasty meal. It doesn't have to be expensive or fancy, but it needs to put a smile on your face. Whether you get joy from cooking it or having someone else cook it at a restaurant so you can relax and dine, fine. And it's even better if you can share it with friends or family who make you happy.
4. Respect a Sabbath Time.
One of the many blessings I have from growing up Jewish is the observance of Sabbath. While I am not in the stricter camp of people who don't use electronics or cook, I am a firm believer in designating a time of rest and relaxation. I may read something entertaining or even watch a favorite program. Regardless of the activity, it must be non-work related. And I do disconnect myself from the electronics for at least a few hours during that time to reduce the buzz.
5. Plan for some "Me" time.
Without the pressure of work and people, the weekend is a perfect time to focus on you. You can self reflect, meditate, exercise or even learn a language. Do something that helps make you a better person. You want to start Monday feeling that you are stronger and more prepared to deal with the world than ever before.
6. Have some social time.
As human beings, we thrive on social interaction. Alone time is great and necessary, but you also need to have fun with others. It's ok if your home friends are also your work friends. It's still refreshing to spend non-work time socializing and bonding. Even a long talky lunch can help you vent out some excess stress.
7. Spend time prepping for the coming week.
Make sure you have the next week laid out with the to-dos and appointments. It's best to do this on Friday before you leave, but there will be thoughts and ideas that happen over the weekend, so if you take 20 minutes Sunday to add it to everything you feel ready and raring to go when you get to work on Monday.