Time off is VERY important. It’s a way to let your mind rest, relax, and recharge.
Think of your mind as a battery. During your regular work week, you are constantly running and are highly focused on your job. Your “mind battery” gets drained quickly, and much like a regular battery, it needs recharging to perform at optimal levels. It’s near impossible to work every single day of the week and perform well. That’s why your weekend is extremely important.
Whether it’s Saturday & Sunday or Tuesday & Wednesday, taking advantage of your time off is crucial to your career success. While you can do a number of things on your time off, there are a few habits to get in to that will certainly increase your work productivity and allow your mind to recharge. Yes, laying on the couch and binge watching Stranger Things may “feel” good in the short term, you will find out that there are much better ways to spend your weekend that will leave you feeling more relaxed and energized in the long term.
Get Plenty of Sleep
According to this Wall Street Journal article, the average adult should be getting at least seven to nine hours of sleep per night, with seven being the most efficient. During your work week, you may be cutting out sleep for family and work-related activities. The weekend is your way to “catch up” on that.
Additionally, you should not be using the excuse of “Well, it’s the weekend, so I can stay up really late”. While that may be true, it will interrupt your sleep pattern and will screw up your sleep cycles for Monday and Tuesday. Keeping on a schedule is important and getting enough hours is even more important.
It’s really difficult to find time to exercise during the work week. I know that when I have had a long day at work, the absolute last thing I want to do is work out. We all know how important exercise is though. That’s why it’s important to use your time off to get some form of exercise, whether it’s running a 5k, lifting weights in the gym, or taking a walk in the park with your wife and dogs. Any form of exercise will leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed, both physically and mentally.
Spend Quality Time with Friends and Family
Sales consumes us. When we are at work, we are 100% focused on the customer in front of us. We spend the entire day interacting with people. When we leave work, it’s difficult to switch in to “personal mode” and hang out with friends and family. Weekend days are imperative to help rebuild those relationships and develop those personal ties that are so important.
Remember, the customer is important, but they will come and go. Your friends and family are your support system for life. Spend the time with them because they are your support system and will be there to help you during your downs. You will get to work on Monday feeling good for having such a strong support system.
Whether you are religious or not, giving thanks is important so you can appreciate what you have. If you are religious, going to church is great to give thanks for your job and your family. If not, just appreciating what you have will get you in the correct mindset for the upcoming work week. Rather than hating your job and dreading going back, it’s way more productive to come in on Monday with the feeling of gratitude that you have so much to be thankful for.
Reading is one of the best mental exercises that you can do. Many psychologists, scientists, and even business leaders say that constantly reading is the best way to relax and sharpen your mental sword at the same time. You don’t have to read sales or business books either. Even reading an epic fantasy novel or a suspenseful crime novel that you enjoy will help you and relax you.
You will develop your verbal abilities, improve your concentration, improves your imagination, improves your memory, reduces stress, and above all, reading offers great entertainment. All these things, TV cannot accomplish.
Plan the Week out on Sunday
A lot of people hate thinking about the work week during their weekend. They believe that looking ahead will cause them stress, much like thinking about work during vacation is a bad thing. On the contrary, planning your week out will actually reduce that stress significantly.
Having all your activities and days laid out and scheduled will make everything seem much more manageable. Between work, school plays, soccer practices for kids, after-work budget meetings, in-laws in town, and the cat throwing up everywhere, it can seem extremely stressful and overwhelming. Having it all on paper and scheduled ahead of time will reduce the anxiety and reduce the stress of the unknown.
Weekend are absolutely crucial for a productive and stress free week. Sure, you can lay on the couch and watch Lord of the Rings all weekend long, but instead of that, try to get in to the above habits. You will find your weekends more meaningful and relaxing while making Monday morning seem much easier.
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