If the word ‘productivity’ means frantically pounding away at your keyboard all day, you might have the wrong idea of what the term really refers to. Productivity is not only about getting work done, it’s also about doing things that set you up for success. For example, making your bed in the morning means you’re more likely to have an easier night-time routine.
Having a productive weekend does not mean attending to work-related tasks or being busy with back-to-back activities all weekend; it means you’re using the time that you have on the weekend to set you up for optimum productivity in the coming week. Spending your downtime the right way can give you the energy, focus, and motivation you need to get things done in the new week when it matters most.
There are two things we recommend you focus on during your weekend: maintaining a work-life balance and preparing for the week ahead.
Weekend activities to maintain a healthy work-life balance
A work-life balance refers to how we manage both our work and our personal life. Achieving a healthy work-life balance means prioritising both your work and your family, yourself, and your passions outside of work. If you have a good work-life balance, it means that work does not run your life and that you spend specific amounts of time working and other amounts dedicated to yourself and your loved ones.
While having a work-life balance is ideal, it’s harder than you might think to get right, particularly as an entrepreneur or business owner. In a recent study, it was found that 68% of people say that poor work-life balance negatively impacts their morale and motivation at work. Here are some ideas for productive activities you can do on the weekend to set you up for success in the week ahead.
Whether it be playing a musical instrument, creative writing, or even redecorating a room in your home, weekends are the perfect time to get creative. Creativity is an excellent way to give your brain a break from work and allows you to free your mind of work-related worries.
A bonus to doing something like playing a musical instrument is that it releases the feel-good hormone, dopamine, into your brain. Dopamine enhances your mood and literally makes your brain smarter by improving your concentration levels and your memory retention as well as lowering stress levels. If that’s not a great way to set yourself up for success in the week ahead, we don’t know what is!
Getting creative and doing things you wouldn’t usually do during the week changes the way the neurons fire inside your brain. Using different neurons makes it easier for you to make different types of connections and associations when you are doing something like problem-solving or brainstorming during the week.
The benefits of reading are endless, and nothing truly beats curling up with a good book. Reading lets your imagination run wild and lets you experience worlds other than your own. It’s also quite the mental workout, without you having to put in much effort.
Much like being creative, reading can make you a better and faster decision-maker. Researchers have found that people who read are better at processing information and making sense out of ambiguity.
Reading also increases your emotional intelligence, which affects the outlook of your career. Statistics show that fiction readers are more able to show empathy and understand others than non-readers. A study recently found that hiring managers prefer candidates who are emotionally intelligent.
Do some exercise
For many people, a hectic schedule and demanding to-do list make it difficult to get exercise in during the week. The weekend gives you 48 hours to exercise. Getting your body moving for as little as 10 minutes releases neurotransmitters that reduce stress and help you formulate new ideas.
Exercise also releases loads of endorphins which put you in a better mood and help you deal with everyday stress in a more effective way.
The trick to exercising on the weekend is to find a physical activity that you enjoy doing. You don’t want to spend your precious downtime doing things that make you unhappy. Find a local class for an exercise you enjoy, join a sports club in your area, or even try learning to surf to get those good juices flowing.
Exercising on the weekend will leave you feeling refreshed and full of energy to face the challenges that the new week brings.
Spend time outdoors
Spending time outside is not only simple and enjoyable to do, but it also puts you in excellent stead to have a productive week ahead. Sunshine is an excellent mood booster and helps you sleep better. Also, spending time in nature has been proven to improve brain function.
Spending time outdoors can include hiking, gardening, swimming, working on DIY projects in your yard, or even garden parties and picnics.
Choose to exercise outside and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a weekend activity that will push your productivity to the max during the week.
A recent survey found that 92% of over 850 participants regularly work on weekends. We know that working on weekends is sometimes unavoidable when work piles up and deadlines are looming. But our advice is to, wherever you can, disconnect on the weekends. Try not to spend time on your phone or laptop as not removing yourself from these activities will leave you feeling like you never left work.
If it’s not realistic for you to take the entire weekend off from answering emails and Slack messages, try dedicating specific times on Saturday and Sunday to tackle these tasks and spend the rest of the time doing things that revitalise and recharge you for the week ahead.
Weekend activities that set you up for success in the week ahead
Another strategy that’s important to use on the weekend is planning and preparing for the week ahead. Setting aside some time to do the things that mean your week will be easier to navigate and that let you hit the ground running from Monday morning will result in an ultra-productive week.
- Take some time out to reflect on the prior week and decide what went well and what could be improved upon to make next week a success.
- If you work from home, be sure to take time to declutter and organise your work from home space.
- Plan for the week ahead. Write out your to-do list, set up your schedule, plan your meals ahead of time, and choose what clothes you’ll want to wear during the week.
- Revise your goals. Determine how far off you are from achieving the things that matter to you and write down actionable steps to get you closer to your goals.
The best way to spend your weekend is to do more of the things you love and less of the things you usually do during the week. This will give you the fuel and fire that you need to tackle the new week in the most productive way possible. Keep an eye on our blog for more productivity tips and hacks.