Getting the Most out of Your Weekends
What are the weekends, really? I find myself asking this sometimes after a long work week. Being a workaholic and owning my own business means that I am generally writing on a Saturday afternoon or cramming in an assignment to get ahead of the work week on Sunday night. It is truly difficult for me to give myself a day off.
I realize I can’t go on this way forever, which is why I try mostly to contain my assignments to the week. But even that is hard. I justify working on the weekends when I recall the times during the week that I take a nap, dart out to the gym or treat myself to tea. Those are the times I think about the 9-to-5 corporate slaves and grin.
But there’s something that they have, which I believe I do not. I realize that those 9-to-5ers generally have more of an appreciation for weekends, and they can easily enjoy them. After all, by the time Friday at 5 p.m. hits, it’s like a jail breakout. Most 9-to-5ers leave the office, and they’re done with work. Because they don’t have to be at their office, and aren’t near it, (and yes, most of them are miserable at what they do), they are more apt to relish the weekend, not working at all—really recharging themselves and having fun!
How on Earth do they do that? And how can a self-employed person get the most out of their weekends, too?
Work only weekdays. This is the obvious option. No matter how much you have to do, prioritize your work so you can have Saturday and Sunday off. This is a huge step for many of us, so start with one day off a week. Also, if your workload is very high, or you enjoy having more personal time between Monday and Friday, you can always shoot for every other weekend off, or one weekend per month when you do not work at all.
Make a weekday your weekend. Who says you can’t go to a movie, tend to the yard, head to the beach, or spend time with your children on a Tuesday? Nobody. So if you need to work on the weekends, why not take off on a weekday? You’ll be able to relax while everyone else is at work. (Might I suggest taking Mondays, in particular, off? If for no other reason than to gloat while you think of all the depressed 9-to-5ers returning to their cubicles!)
Shut the door. Even if you don’t have a pressing assignment, it’s easy to work on a project during a weekend. After all, most creative people like me enjoy what they do. I am often tempted to work on my upcoming book or create a blog post (it’s not really work, I tell myself) during a Saturday afternoon when I’m not doing much else. In fact, I find it hard to sit around and do…well, nothing. I often give up on relaxation and get back to work so I feel more productive. If you’ve got something else to do, stick to it or have activities planned. And if you’re doing nothing, shut the door to your office. You’ll find something to occupy yourself with—but it can’t be work—at least for the day!
These are just a few tips to help you get the most out of weekends, and to make sure you get time to rejuvenate. There are plenty more ways to get the most out of your time off. It all starts with giving yourself time to rest and relax.
And while that can be hard for many self-employed people, you have to think about what those 9-to-5ers are doing on a Saturday afternoon—surely they’re not fretting over a deadline. Nope. If they can relax a little, there’s got to be some hope for the rest of us.
Kristen Fischer is a freelance writer living in New Jersey. Her first book, Creatively Self-Employed: How Writers and Artists Deal with Career Ups and Downs is available at www.creativelyselfemployed.com