Most people use the weekends to kick back and relax. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs don’t always have that luxury. If you own your own business, you’re on duty, or at least thinking about work, seven days a week.
While you don’t have to be at your desk every minute of every day, it helps to know how to structure your lifestyle so you can get the most out of your busy schedule.
Here are a few ways to use your weekends to make you more productive at work and at home.
1. Don’t ‘work’ 24/7.
Though it’s important to think about your business on the weekends, you shouldn’t be “plugged in” the way you are during the week. Don’t be glued to the computer or checking your email incessantly. Instead, work on projects you enjoy or use the time to think about your business in a broader way. Ask yourself, “What do I want to accomplish this week, month or year?” Evaluate how your day-to-day activities are taking you closer to your long-term goals.
2. Check email once or twice a day.
Schedule a specific time in the day to check email. Read all your messages, triage any issues, then put your phone away. If you know you will be checking email at certain times, you’ll be less likely to check it throughout the day. When you allow email to interfere with your day, you’re more likely to become distracted from the larger goals of the weekend.
3. Focus on rejuvenation.
How you rejuvenate from a long, stressful week depends on your personality, mood and family life. Don’t forget to take time for yourself. You could schedule a massage, go somewhere quiet to relax, or spend time with friends and family. However you unwind, make sure you’re prepared to walk into work on Monday feeling completely energized for the week ahead.
4. Don’t over-sleep.
Though some people enjoy snoozing until noon on the weekends, it’s not beneficial to your wellbeing. When you change your sleep pattern, it throws off your natural circadian rhythm. If you sleep too many hours, you’ll likely feel groggy throughout the day. Try not to sleep more than two or three extra hours on the weekend.
5. Find a hobby.
Weekends are a great time for side projects you don’t usually have time to do. If you don’t sleep in on the weekends, you’ll likely get out of bed a little earlier than the rest of your housemates. Use the time to pursue your passions that are not related to work. If you enjoy gardening, go out and plant something. Or, if you love reading, make yourself some coffee and curl up with a book. Engage in some volunteer work in your community. Hobbies permit you to be productive while still taking a break from work.
6. Limit household chores.
Errands and chores can easily consume an entire weekend. Very few people enjoy grocery shopping, doing laundry and scrubbing the bathtub. If you’re financially able to do so, consider outsourcing some of your household chores. If you prefer to manage chores yourself, set a timer. Do as much as you can in an hour and then move on to more important tasks.
7. Get moving.
Get some much-needed exercise. Whether you prefer to dance, lift weights or take a yoga class, just move. Regular workouts will make you healthier and less prone to illness. You’ll feel more energized and less anxious. You don’t have to train like an Olympian to benefit from exercise. A bike ride or a 20-30 minute walk around your neighborhood will do the trick and the fresh air will do you good.
By Jacqueline Whitmore of Entrepreneur