Are you a weekend advocate or guilty of ruthlessly squeezing the last rest of life and time out of it for things you have failed to do Mo-Fr? Read on!
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I am a weekend advocate.
My weekdays, Mondays (which I quite obviously never really hate, ‘coz: what’s the point in hating 1/7th part of Your Own Precious Life?), Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays are buzzing with things to do, words to write, places to go and people to meet.Even quieter moments that I do include into my daily routines with regular breaks because “sitting down is killing you” and with 100% obligatory lunchtime are life at its best, the telephone rings, things happen, or sometimes I am as fancyful as going there and losing my bank card (this Monday), breaking my iPad display (this Wednesday) or getting a bruise from yoga (true story, bro: this Thursday; how does one do that!?) just to spice things up.
So I hold weekends dear and am very careful with them, these days.But – I used to work a lot on weekends.
You might recognise one or all of the following statements that I, too, used to voice:
+ “I like to work in an empty office, nobody there to derange me.”
Nobody is deranging you Mo-Fr either, you’re just not organised!
+ “Working on weekends has a sense of freedom because I don’t have to do it.”
“MWAHAHA!”, your boss.
+ “On weekends, nobody wants to have a coffee break, a chat, and customers don’t call me.”
Cool. I get it. Is that Tumblr on the next few tabs?
+ “I’m getting shit done!”
Well, obviously you are NOT.
+ “I’m the best prepared person on our Monday meeting.”
Well, this makes some sense when there’s a red hot project going on.
But if it starts to become a habit… Get a life!
+ “I had no time to finish this job Mo-Fr and it’s due on Monday.”
Who in their right mind makes Mondays deadline days?
Working on weekends is also the best ever excuse to weasel out of unpleasant private tasks such as:
+ Make your overdue tax declaration
+ Meet a relative (or friend) you actually don’t want to meet
+ Do housework*
* Life’s irony: when you have to get a rather unpleasant job done, you become obsessed with housework.
+ Research a new, much needed (fill in the blank: insurance, social media channel, party dress…)_____
+ Do shopping
+ Assemble that new IKEA plaything that has been sitting in the entry for, ugh,
five seven weeks straight
Do you see a pattern there?
We make our weekends our beating boys for everything that went wrong Monday through Friday: toxic relationships, poor time management, inability to say no.”
WEEKEND: AN ENDANGERED SPECIES!
Let’s not let our weekends go extinct.Everybody I know is complaining about being wired, online, reachable 24/7.
Everybody is royally pissed when I tell them to “simply unplug”.
Obviously, our economical, political, enviromental systems will all crash down and lie there in shards if every working person out there would turn off their smartphone on a Friday night.
OH COME ON.The old saying “All work and no play makes Jake a dull boy” has been backed with science – science, people! – over and over again.
Humans need not just air, water, and food – we need movement and rest just as much. Our brains need our body to move, and our body needs our brain to have a time out. Cut on that, and you’ll get a more tired and angry, less creative and social, in fact, more dull version of you where a more brilliant version of you could be standing.
Why would you willingly do that?
But I get it: there are professions where work on weekends is part of the deal. However, for the rest of us, office and desktop workers, entrepreneurs and creative folks:
If your work defines your weekend as Sunday+Monday, you’re way better off than somebody with “surprise” work schedule.
Research shows that our systems need continuity.
Waking up the same time everyday, eating at regular times, going to bed the same time everyday: what sounds quite dull to our modern selves is, in fact, simply the rhythm of life.
And man has never yet succeeded at outsmarting Nature. It will just smirk and strike back, but this is another story.
POINT IS: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MINDSET
Now, there is nothing wrong with an occasional Sunday at work, or business related travel that goes well into your Saturday night.
But you need to understand, to live, and to articulate this simple truth: Weekend is private time.
Weekend is the time to refill the well that you’ve been generously offering from during the week.
It’s a time where you decide who to say YES and who to say NO to.
If people – bosses, mothers, friends, customers – want a piece of your time on a weekend, they have to ASK*.”
(* Asking means accepting no for an answer, by the way.)
Obviously, a better time management and overall organisation pay off, too.
There are such brilliant inventions as: autoreplies, scheduled blog posts *wink-wink*, planning software, to do list software, …
Don’t make your weekend your time buffer.
It’s not what it’s for!
Like night is for sleeping, the weekend is for unwinding.“
Seriously, I am yet to see a team meet a deadline set on a Friday or Monday.
A Friday deadline always moves into Monday (“They will not get to read it until Monday anyway, right?”), and a Monday deadline causes a weekend of frantic rat race, because an ordinary, average European Friday arrives as suddenly as Christmas eve:
“Blimey”, we then say, “Where did Thursday go? I haven’t yet written to Brown, and where’s the paper Smith had to deliver by Wednesday? Can anybody get me a coffee? I can’t work like that! Is everyone I know an idiot?”
Now, for the record, I know how hard it is to relax when you’re wired to perform. But how about you embraced every minute off duty?You’ve earned your right for a break, I assure you. You, the hard working, committed, connected, passionate, supportive individual *here’s looking at you, kid*
So, here’s the plan:
+ Get shit done Monday through Friday as if Friday was the ultimate end of the week: I call it my “tabula rasa” rule: my desk needs to be clean (or the digital project folder empty) by the end of Friday
+ If a weekend needs to be sacrificed, value it exactly like that: a sacrifice, and compensate
+ Acquire better planning and time management skills
+ Multi-taskers: Multitasking doesn’t exist, just get things done one by one
+ Think of giving up one social media channel
+ Spend less time reading motivational quotes and articles about sleep and rest, go get some rest instead!
+ Repeat with me (and tell everyone):
I am a weekend advocate.
I will not let the weekend go extinct.”