We all hate working weekends, but sometimes there’s just no way around them. This is especially true for freelancers and entrepreneurs. It’s true that occasional overtime can do you good in terms of productivity and work-related satisfaction, but if this occurrence becomes a norm, it can easily backfire. Having enough free time for yourself is extremely important for your emotional and mental well-being. But if you simply can’t get away from working during a weekend, the following tips can help make your working weekend more productive and manageable.
Have a Schedule for Your Weekend Working Hours
When you have to deal with a work project during the weekend, and you’re not bound by the typical workweek hours, chances are you’ll start your weekend with a plan that’s not a plan at all: “I’ll get it done some time today.” Anyone who has worked through a weekend has made this mistake before. Even if you force yourself to get to work at some point, chances are you’ll have to commit to it later than anticipated, which probably won’t work well for you productivity-wise.
That said, you don’t have to get up as early as you would on a weekday (unless that works for you). The key here is to schedule the exact time when you’re going to start your work on the weekend and possibly even have an approximate timeframe for completing it.
For instance, instead of getting up at 8 AM in order to start your work at 9 AM, you can set your alarm for 10 AM and make it a point to start your work at 11 AM or noon. Of course, by assessing your own most productive time of day, you can manage this scheduling more effectively. Just like your work during the workweek, a working weekend has to be viewed as a commitment in your mind.
Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep
Waking up tired and groggy on Saturday morning won’t really help with a productive working weekend. If you have to work on Saturday, you have to treat it like any other workday. In that respect, it’s crucial that you rest properly the night before.
We have already talked about the connection between productivity and sleep. What’s more, you can try making some changes in your daily routine that will allow you to improve your sleep and, consequently, your morning routine. If you have plans for Friday evening, you don’t have to cancel them. But you know your body and sleep cycle the best; if you need at least 9 hours of sleep, make sure to set your alarm for the next morning accordingly and come up with a work schedule around that.
Prioritize the Tasks Chronologically
Just like a comprehensive schedule for your weekend working hours can make a world of difference for your productivity and efficiency, so can task prioritization. When you have to work on several different projects during the weekend, it can get rather tempting to start with the tasks that you might enjoy more first. But even if you effectively complete a project that’s due on Wednesday next week, you won’t be really doing yourself a favor if there’s still the matter of the project that’s due on Monday.
The whole point of working on the weekend is to have everything ready for Monday and possibly even Tuesday. That said, make sure to use the chronological urgency as your guide before you try to complete tasks that you actually have enough time for during the workweek.
Refrain from Using Tech Gadgets Constantly
In this day and age, most of us use computers and smartphones for work. However, when you have to work overtime, staring at the screen emitting blue light can soon become stressful as well as physically straining.
If you know you have to work during the weekend, it would be best to unplug from technology for a while. For instance, once you get home from work on Friday, refrain from spending hours on your computer/phone again, even if it’s for entertainment.
Do the same during your free time on a weekend. Enjoying yourself the old-fashioned way, with family and friends, a good book, a walk outside, and so on, will allow you to recharge without creating subconscious resentment toward the gadgets that you have to use for work. It will also leave you more refreshed and energized for Monday morning.
If your plan for the working weekend is to get everything done and over with in the morning, these morning routine hacks can help to boost your productivity.