Time off from work can be time well-spent. Instead of lounging around like a couch potato, Smart meeting planners can use their weekends to boost their careers, nurture their professional growth or improve their productivity. In a posting on HubSpot, Lindsay Kolowich offers 12 suggestions on how to make the most of weekends.
1. Shift your focus. If you spend the majority of your time indoors sitting at a desk, get outdoors. If you generally work outside, spend some time indoors reading or exploring a new hobby. The takeaway is to mix things up and make the weekend seem different than the rest of the week.
2. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Many people view the weekend as a time to address myriad tasks, but be realistic about what can be accomplished. Before beginning a task, evaluate how much effort it will require, and what the impact will be. Prioritize to address only the most important concerns.
3. Start early. People are generally most productive in the morning. Set the stage for success by beginning with an easily accomplished task.
4. Give your brain a break. If you spend much of your workweek problem solving and brainstorming, shut that part of your brain off and focus on relaxation. A regular meditation practice has been shown to increase concentration and reduce stress. Attend a meditation class or download an app such as Headspace or Calm.
5. Get some shuteye. Lack of sleep is a serious health problem that can affect memory, lower the immune system and raise the risk of stroke. Overcome exhaustion by using the weekend to catch up on lost sleep. (Having trouble falling asleep? Check out Nestmaven‘s list of best sleep meditation videos.)
6. Learn a new skill or specialization. Master HTML, take a marketing class or find a mentor willing to share knowledge and expertise. Not only is this fun, it may help land you a promotion or a new job.
7. Express yourself. Write an original article or blog posting that will contribute to you being viewed as a thought leader or industry expert, and submit it to a media outlet for publication.
8. Enjoy time with family or friends. Keep work-life balance in check by getting off the high pressure treadmill and doing something that will make you happy. Don’t feel guilty about taking a day off.
9. Set a time boundary for weekend work. If you must work, establish a specific time block that you are willing to devote to it. If you fail to get as much done as you wanted, forgive yourself and resolve to be more efficient next weekend.
10. Clear out clutter. Although it may not be “fun,” sorting and ridding yourself of items you no longer need or want is a valuable and productive weekend endeavor. Sell items online, give them away or donate them to charity. Decluttering your living space will make you feel more clear and refreshed.
11. Do some volunteer work. Helping those less fortunate or devoting oneself to a cause such as animal abuse or improving the environment fosters a sense of pride and satisfaction, builds connections with others and helps strengthen the greater community. Just pick a cause close to your heart.
12. Make Sunday night special. Do something fun. Watch an episode of a favorite television show, take a run with your dog or prepare a nice dinner. Reflect on the week that past, reveling in joyous moments and accomplishments, and think about what you can do to make next week even more awesome.