By Syed Balkhi, founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site that helps small businesses start their websites.
Every weekend gives you the chance to start your new workweek in high gear. It’s important to consciously choose fulfilling activities that disconnect you from the work of the just-finished week. You also want to be relaxed enough to come to work with new ideas and a drive to do well.
But “vegging out” or staying in bed late can make you feel like you’ve not made the best of your time. In turn, you’ll feel frustrated rather than centered on the weekend, which can bleed into your work.
But if you organize your weekends and create habits for these periods of relaxation, you should find happiness and improved productivity. Here are a few weekend habits that I find can make a difference.
Go For Solo ‘Dates’
This idea comes from Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way. She suggests that it’s important to take a solo expedition once a week to discover artistic and creative experiences. These outings are called “artists’ dates,” where you go out and discover something new and inspiring.
You can try a simpler version by taking some time during the weekend to go for a walk and visit some parts of your town you haven’t visited before. There are complications today because of the current pandemic, and I encourage you to be safe. But if you can do something as simple as checking out an unfamiliar, safe area, you’ll be going on a meaningful solo date.
The idea is to renew your mind by experiencing something new. You could find an interesting vista or some architecture or discover that your neighborhood has cute pets. This kind of exploration and discovery will give your mind new information to process and fresh sources of creativity.
Do A Weekly Personal Check-In
A great weekend habit is to do a personal check-in, all about taking stock of your life and assessing your emotional well-being.
It’s a way to help you reorient your life if things are off track. You can understand what to prioritize and whether it’s time to let go of goals and plans that won’t pan out.
During the weekend, settle down and pull out a notebook. Ask yourself the following questions:
• What are my long-term and short-term goals, and am I on track to meeting them?
• Do I need to change any of my goals?
• What are the highlights of the week so far?
• What has disappointed me the most this week?
I encourage you to approach this from a freewriting perspective. You can keep half an hour to pen down your thoughts without editing or pausing for any, save urgent, reasons. As you let words flow, you’ll see deeper unconscious thoughts emerge on paper. You’ll get insights that may help you make peace with the week that’s passed and meet the following Monday with gusto.
Connect With Close Friends And Family
Now more than ever, we need to make an effort to stay in touch with people. Schedule video calls, but with the intention of simply connecting with friends and family members. These calls don’t have to be for long time periods or planned. But many people do set up games or themes or arrange virtual movie nights.
I’d focus on the quality of conversations rather than doing it for its own sake. And remember that browsing social media doesn’t count. Try to tap into your friends’ emotional states and be vulnerable to them, too. Deep and meaningful conversations will improve your connection with others and make you feel better mentally.
Boost Your Happiness And Productivity By Leveraging Your Weekend
Even though I’ve offered three things to do on your weekend, I want to point out that what you don’t do is as important as the actions you take. Avoiding social media, not checking your emails and not thinking about work will help you be a better leader. For many entrepreneurs, delegating and switching off are the hardest things to do because they’re afraid that things will go wrong when they’re not on watch.
It’s important to remember that things can go wrong no matter how watchful you are. You’re also a more effective leader when you’re refreshed. So, try these weekend habit suggestions laid out here, and you should see your Mondays buzz with energy.