As working from home days roll into one and the stresses of returning to work in a post-pandemic world build, now more than ever it’s important to nail the weekend. Come Monday it’s so easy to feel guilty, asking yourself the same questions every week: where did the time go? Why didn’t I make the most of it? Why don’t I feel raring to go?
Successful people have a knack for making the most of their downtime. They know how to separate work and play, they know how to refresh, they create healthy habits and they use the sacred spare time they have to propel themselves into the week. Here’s how you can do the same.
Ok, getting up early is par for the course Monday to Friday so a lie-in is warranted, but on Saturday at least set your alarm like it’s a work day. The satisfaction from getting up early, packing more into the day and feeling productively worn out beats even the most comfortable weekend snoozes, trust us.
You don’t need to look far for CEO inspiration in this department either. Robert Iger, former CEO of Disney, is just one of many who swears by an early start.
This one should be obvious but if you put off exercising during the week, promising yourself you’ll get your blood pumping at the weekend, you need to follow through. Steps to a successful weekend routine don’t occur in isolation. Get up early and go for a run, cycle or follow a workout video on Youtube. Picture how good you’ll feel afterwards.
An active body means an active mind. Sir Paul Smith swims; Anna Wintour plays tennis; Richard Branson kite surfs. Exercise is and always will be the key to staying healthy and keeping your mind sharp.
You likely know the benefits of meditation – it boosts mental health, reduces stress and anxiety, decreases blood pressure and improves sleep, to name but a few – especially as it has steadily infiltrated corporate culture. Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO of SalesForce, and Oprah Winfrey are just some of the high performers who swear by the practise.
Not convinced? It doesn’t even have to be meditation. It could just be a commitment to 20 minutes of stillness – whether at home in the garden, out on the balcony, on a walk by a lake or just sitting on a chair in your bedroom.
It’s difficult to slow down during the working week so make it your duty to dedicate some time to giving your mind a break every weekend.
We would recommend not checking your email inbox over the weekend. If that sounds like a terrifying prospect then we would actively encourage it. Switch off across devices. Spend some time on airplane mode, mute notifications and be present in what you’re actually doing. If for some unavoidable reason you need to check, then dedicate a specific time and then don’t check again.
The weekend is part of the ever-dwindling time you have where you’re allowed to not be connected. Make the most of it.
Giving back is important and volunteering a few hours of your weekend to a just cause is a great way to meet new people, improve your mental health and, most importantly, make life better for someone else.
Good Gym is an exercise-based volunteering organisation that will help you kill two of your weekend goals with one stone, but take the time out to see what opportunities are available in your local area, too.
Laura Vanderkam, author of ‘What The Most Successful People Do On The Weekends’, calls it ‘Sort Your Life Out Sunday’. Others merely call it reflection and planning time. But whatever you do, set time aside on a Sunday to plan for the week ahead – you won’t regret it.
It really is easier to hit the ground running on a Monday if you’ve done your prep – just ask Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey who dedicates his Sundays to feedback, reflection, strategy and planning.
Jack Dorsey also goes for a hike on a Saturday while Warren Buffet plays the ukulele in his spare time. In a world where it’s almost impossible to get a break from the glare of a screen it’s vital to get stuck into something that gives your brain a rest.
Some successful people garden, others invest time in sport, crafts or writing. The key is following your passions and taking a break from the ever-connected world to focus on something else that is personally rewarding.
Tim Ferris is a firm believer in this: don’t overdo it. Granted, we’ve provided you with the building blocks but don’t feel like you need to achieve everything in one Saturday. Don’t multitask on auto-pilot; prioritise a handful of important tasks and really focus.
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