Are you a workaholic? Do you work on your business every day of the week including the weekend like there’s no tomorrow?
Or maybe it’s the opposite. You work hard at your day job all week only to become a couch potato at weekends.
The demands of modern life drive many people into a pattern of constant work and not enough downtime. I’ve been guilty of this for years and am only recently learning to slow down.
But a lot of people also do the opposite – to offset stress, they overindulge at weekends with excessive drinking, eating and watching TV. They waste their precious free time and as a result never realize their true potential.
This can be just as bad as working too much, especially if you aspire to be an entrepreneur.
If you are holding down a day job, your weekends are probably the only time you have to work on your lifestyle business.
I get that.
In every business there are times when things need to get done such as before a big event or in the run-up to a product launch and burning the midnight oil is the only option.
But if such extremes are the normal way you live your live and grow your business you are heading for trouble. An entrepreneur is the heartbeat of their business. Until you have systems in place and staff to manage most of the processes in your absence, there is no business without you.
That’s why it is so important to take care of yourself and add rituals into your life that give you some work-life balance.
You Need To Recharge Your Batteries
Picture your mobile phone.
You probably have to recharge it every day.
You plug it into the electricity supply because you know, if you don’t, it will run out of power just when you need it most.
It’s the same for you.
If you constantly push yourself without recharging your own batteries you will eventually burn out. It won’t happen immediately and you might not even notice at first.
But little by little, you’ll start to feel frayed around the edges.
You’ll feel tired no matter how much sleep you get or coffee you drink.
You’ll be uninspired by life even if you’re working on something you’re passionate about.
Your focus and concentration will fly out of the window as you daydream about your next vacation.
These are the early warning signs of too much hard work and not enough rest and relaxation. If you’re feeling like this already, it’s time to start taking back some control. Here are 10 tips to help you make the most of your weekend.
How To Make The Most Of Weekends
1. Make A Date With Yourself
Many entrepreneurs promise they will do something special when they have the time. But that time rarely comes due to their ever-increasing workload.
Female entrepreneurs in particular tend to put themselves last when it comes to self care.
If you are always looking after other peoples’ needs, at home and at work, or are the go-to person in your business, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by too many demands on your energy.
You more than anyone need some time out so commit to doing something you love this weekend.
Make a date with yourself and schedule it in your diary so nothing else gets in the way. Let people know you won’t be available. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, just something you love or enjoy doing.
Do you love to read? When did you last go dancing? Why not treat yourself to that spa break your friends have been raving about?
Taking a break from your work will get you out of a rut and give you fresh impetus, especially if you’ve been overdoing things.
2. Disconnect From Technology
Does this scenario sound familiar?
You log into Facebook to post an update.
You know you need to be posting daily for your business so you tell yourself it’s work and you won’t stay on it for long.
But then you see a friend’s post in your feed. Before you know it, you’ve disappeared down a rabbit hole only to emerge several hours later.
You got distracted by technology.
It’s not just social media. The same goes for surfing the Web, checking emails, making phone and Skype calls, sending text messages and watching TV.
Studies show that the overexposure to technology is altering our brains, making it harder to switch off and affecting our ability to focus.
Although modern technology is imperative to the modern entrepreneur, you don’t have to be a slave to it. Most of us don’t need to be connected to technology every minute of every day.
Use the weekend to give yourself and your brain a much-needed break from all your devices and gadgets.
Unplug for a few hours, step away from your computer, get out in nature or do something different that expands your mind.
3. Turn Tourist & Explore Your Town
When I moved to London years ago, I vowed to do touristy things every weekend like visiting world-famous museums and art galleries, eating out at fancy restaurants and meeting up with friends to go for walks in the city’s many beautiful parks.
My diary was chock-full of activities and I was always on the go.
But very quickly I got wrapped up in my career. I fell in love. I bought a home that needed renovating. I started a business. I stopped socializing as much.
My weekends became routine and I rarely ventured beyond my local neighborhood.
Even though I lived in one of the most diverse, cultural, exciting cities on earth, one that millions of people dream of visiting, I started to take London for granted.
It was only around the time of the London Olympics when thousands of tourists began flooding into the capital that it dawned on me how much I was missing. Since my business was doing well, I started to take time off to do fun things and have made this a regular date in my diary ever since.
I’m sure I’m not the only one.
When you travel abroad or visit another city in your own country, you no doubt check out all the sights and attractions. Why not do this in your local area?
Make a point of getting out and exploring your town or city whenever you can.
Play tourist. Hire a bike. Get a map and visit a new attraction or an unfamiliar part of town. Before you know it, the most ordinary place can become an extraordinary one.
The majority of us don’t make the most of where we live. So the next chance you have, get out and explore your town or city at the weekend, and see how much it has to offer.
4. Start A New Hobby, Rediscover An Old One
Everybody needs some time out.
Starting a hobby or rediscovering an old one can be an ideal opportunity to forget about the stresses of work for a while.
We often think of hobbies as activities done by people who lead relaxed, easy-going lives.
But having a hobby can bring enormous stress relief for people who are busy, feeling overwhelmed by too much responsibility or working in a demanding job.
A hobby is an ideal way to unwind at the weekend and help take your mind off your busy schedule without feeling guilty because you aren’t just sitting around, you are still being productive.
But a hobby can also inspire you if you are in a rut or have lost your spark.
Many people lead dull, boring lives that lack passion and excitement. They don’t know what they want to do in life and rarely try anything new or different.
A new hobby can give meaning to your life and promote eustress, a healthy stress that we all need in order to feel excited about life. It can stop you from becoming stale and boring by expanding your mind.
When you find something that stimulates you, you become more alert and interested. This makes you more interesting to others and you become a better conversationalist because you naturally have more to talk about.
I believe the art of conversation is a crucial skill in business that often gets overlooked.
We connect with others by listening, taking an interest in them and engaging fully. This skill can be developed through your hobbies and interests so don’t underestimate the influence a hobby can have on your business. At the very least you can pick up some new skills or find a potential business idea.
5. Schedule Time For The People In Your Life
Many of us work hard because we want a better life for ourselves and the people we love.
It’s an easy mistake to think that the people you are close to are always going to be there for you and they’ll understand that you’ve got work to do.
This may well be the case but it doesn’t mean that they don’t miss spending time with you.
Make the weekend about family time.
I recently came across an article about Bronnie Ware, an Australian palliative nurse who had recorded the 5 top regrets of people in the last 12 weeks of their lives.
One of the biggest regrets of people on their deathbed was that they wished they hadn’t worked so hard.
It’s a sobering thought.
Please don’t fall into the trap of taking the people you love for granted. Whatever else is going on in your life, make time for friends and family at the weekend.
6. Create A “Passion List”
Have you watched the movie The Bucket List? It stars Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson as two terminally ill men who meet by chance in hospital.
They learn that that they don’t have much time left so they draw up a bucket list of all the things they’ve dreamed of doing but never got round to, and start to do them – one by one.
It’s a great movie about friendship and following your dreams.
Each one of us has ambitions that we want to achieve, places we want to see and experiences we want to enjoy. Often, we hide these dreams inside us, without ever letting them see the light of day. As a result we never give them chance to become a reality.
A creative way to spend your weekend is to let your imagination soar as you compile a list of 100 things that you have dreamed of doing or you’re passionate about. I call this a “passion list” rather than a bucket list as besides the things you want to do, you can also add the interests you want to pursue. These interests can help you discover your passion in life and business.
You could write these items down in a simple list or go one step further and create a vision board.
It costs nothing and it might inspire you to actually start doing them. And who knows, you may find that many of your most cherished desires are within reach.
7. Keep Chores To A Minimum
Weekends aren’t for chores – they’re for relaxing and doing things you love.
It might be the only time you get to do the housework but is this really the best use of your time?
Remember, your time has a value so start to appreciate it more by thinking of better ways to manage your routine at home.
Could you hire a cleaner to visit weekly so you are free at the weekend?
Some people are put off the idea of hiring domestic help because of the costs or time they think it takes to find the right person.
But there are professional cleaning firms in almost every city that can vet and organize cleaners for you. Mopp is a good one in the UK.
If hiring a cleaner isn’t right for you, can you do some chores during the week so that when the weekend comes round you only have to work for a couple of hours?
Limiting chores to a fixed time will stop them taking over your whole weekend.
Another option is to delegate some responsibilities to your partner or children. Could someone else cook or do the laundry on the weekend instead of you?
Don’t dismiss new ways of doing things that can save you time either.
I used to spend my Saturday mornings going to the supermarket. It took me two hours and since the store was busy with stressed out parents it invariably set the tone for my weekend.
But then I discovered the convenience of online shopping. I now get the exact same items delivered to my door and it frees up my weekends to do activities I enjoy.
8. Exercise At The Weekend
Exercise is a perfect stress buster and can help you solve problems and generate fresh ideas.
Some of my biggest breakthroughs have come while I’ve been running or working out in the gym so I really recommend you make time for exercise.
Many gyms tend to be less busy at the weekend so this is a great time to go.
Choose a form of exercise that gets your heart pumping like running, cycling or rowing.
If that sounds like too much effort, do something more relaxing such as yoga, Tai Chi or Pilates.
The key thing is to move more. Human beings weren’t designed to sit down all day.
Movement is essential for balancing your mind, body and spirit so even light exercise like going for a walk is beneficial.
Exercise brings all-round health benefits such as increasing your heart rate, building stamina, dissolving stress and flooding your body with feel-good endorphins.
These awesome side effects will also benefit you in your day job or in your business because you’ll find it easier to manage your emotions and stress levels, and cope better with the demands of your work.
9. Get Out In Nature This Weekend
A study in 2009 in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health highlighted that the closer you live to nature, the healthier you are likely to be.
Living in cities with high levels of dirt, pollution, noise and stress can lead to dulled senses, suppressed immune systems, depression, anxiety and a whole host of other illnesses and diseases.
As human beings we need to connect with nature on a regular basis.
Sunshine, fresh air and the peace that we find in a natural setting away from computer screens, crying babies, honking horns and barking dogs are all essential to our health and work-life balance.
So make a point of getting out more at the weekend.
Although many of us would love to live by the sea or near the mountains, it’s not always possible. But even a walk in a peaceful park or in the woods can be extremely beneficial, especially if you use it as an opportunity to consciously connect with nature.
Remove your headphones, put your book away and sit in silence for a while.
Lie down on the grass or walk barefoot and feel the earth beneath your feet.
Soak up the natural sounds of nature and listen to the birds.
These are just a few wonderful ways to feel more grounded and reconnect with yourself. It’s how I love to spend my weekend because I believe nature has incredible healing powers.
Spending time outdoors can be rejuvenating so get out there!
10. Do Nothing
Sometimes you need to sleep, look after yourself and just rest.
Do this without feeling guilty.
Often, entrepreneurs feel like they should always be on the go and doing something.
They feel bad when they are taking time out to relax because there is a widely held belief that you’re not truly an entrepreneur unless you’re continually striving towards building your business.
However, this can be harmful in the long term. It can affect your productivity by causing burnout, which is common in people who push themselves too hard.
There are as many types of entrepreneurs as there are people in business.
If you feel tired, rest. If you lack inspiration, get out in nature, exercise or find a new hobby. Your weekend is your time to spend as you choose.
As you work on your business, remember to also develop yourself as a person. One way to do that is to make the most of your free time, especially at the weekend.
We become more interesting by being more interested in life. So spend time doing things that stretch you, activities that excite and challenge you and experiences that make you happy.
Although planning is helpful, don’t be scared to be spontaneous and have some fun; you don’t have to plan every single moment down to the smallest detail.
Learn to go with the flow whenever you can, and if that means changing your routine or your plans once in a while, do so. These spontaneous moments are often occasions when our most magical experiences and memorable encounters happen.
Maximizing your free time at the weekend can help you live a richer, happier and more fulfilled life.
As you invest in yourself and expand as a person, your energy and enthusiasm for life will filter into your business and permeate through your interactions with others, both near and far.
Take a break this coming weekend – you’ve earned it.
How do you like to spend your weekend? Do you prefer to plan activities or go with the flow? Please share your thoughts.