[A collaboration post – all thoughts are my own.]
The previous two weeks have been quite difficult for me. I’ve been experiencing neck pain, as well as headaches and toothaches practically every night. Because of the constant discomfort in my neck, head, and teeth, I can’t sleep well at night. That has had an impact on my weekend activities and daily routine.
Even I was unable to enjoy the weekends. So I went to the hospital to receive some medicine. The doctor advised me to adjust my working posture, use hot water to compress the ache, and sleep less late. I knew the pain was caused by my lifestyle routine for the past two years, so I decided to take a week off from working.
I tried to enjoy pleasant weekend activities, but as the work week approached, I found it difficult to relax. All I could think about were the tasks that awaited me: a full email, a full schedule and to-do list, and the problems that would inevitably arise as I managed it all.
Suddenly I realized: maybe the work wasn’t the issue. Perhaps my weekend activities simply weren’t prepping me for the work ahead of me. A strategic weekend, in my opinion, is one of the most important predictors of a successful workweek.
After re-planning my daily routine to suit the current situation, the proper plans on my off-days can provide the stamina I need to get things done when it matters the most. The same is true the other way around: having something refreshing or entertaining to look forward to on the weekend will give you more motivation to get through the week.
Here are weekend activities to maximize your productivity when working from home.
Do something creative
It’s commonly recognized that a sense of mastery can boost your mental health, freeing up mind space for you to focus on job during the week. Being creative also promotes a “flow” state, which can boost your productivity.
Painting. Writing. Redecorating your home office. One thing all creative hobbies have in common is that they increase your well-being and brain function. Do your best to give your brain a break from actual work, no matter how you choose to exercise creativity.
Reading will always be on my list of (nearly) everything. It is a simple method to unwind on any day, but it’s especially useful to prepare for the workweek. Any book that interests you can be soothing and entertaining, but aim for paper — all that time staring at screens can actually reduce your capacity to read an actual book.
Reading a great novel, in my experience, helps me be more empathic, and the ability to see things from the perspective of another person can improve your relationships and problem-solving abilities. It’s a win-win situation!
Exercise in this context does not refer to activities such as running or going outside. I prefer to exercise at home. It takes some effort to encourage myself, especially on weekends, but I’ve found that the more physical exercise I do, the clearer my mind and the more relaxed my body feel.
Pick an activity that you enjoy and commit to do it for 30 minutes every day. If you can’t get to the gym or don’t have the necessary equipment, watch a YouTube class. You’ll enjoy long-term benefits, but if you’re anything like me, even the immediate rewards of moving your body will be worthwhile.
There’s nothing wrong with some tech-related entertainment, but my profession as a translator and content writer relies on technology every week. It’s also a good idea to unplug on weekends or on Sundays.
Furthermore, your brain is likely to need a break from the constant input of the internet. While aimlessly scrolling through Twitter may feel relaxing, there is growing evidence that excessive screen time might interfere with healthy brain function.
I still work on Saturdays and take Sundays off. Allowing yourself some screen-free time on Saturday and Sunday will make you more creative and concentrated during the week.
While I believe that people should be passionate about their jobs, I also understand how beneficial it is to have something to look forward to during the week. I don’t normally go out on the weekends since I prefer to do self-care activities or clean my room. But I always make an effort to do something enjoyable every weekend.
Motivate yourself to work by preparing something you’ll look forward to doing on the weekend, such as seeing a loved one, ordering your favorite take-out, going on a mini-adventure out of town, or having a special movie night with your friend.
Planning your week
Is it your goal to increase your productivity? The time you spend setting intentions for the week ahead may be the most important part of your weekend. Because I have two jobs, I must plan my week in advance so that my translation projects do not overlap with any blogging tasks.
How you arrange your week should eventually be determined by your long-term goals and the work required to achieve them. There is also evidence that excellent performance is more likely to occur when people and organizations plan out how they will achieve their goals.
You may not want to spend your weekend planning your schedule and creating goals, but doing so will reduce your stress and boost your effectiveness. You can spend Sunday morning doing something you enjoy and the rest of the evening planning your week.
What’s your favorite weekend activities for the productivity week?