We all love that Friday afternoon feeling. The promise of a weekend of relaxation, of catching with friends, or just chilling out in front of the TV and doing hardly anything at all. But all too often, it doesn’t work out like that. So many of us find it difficult to switch off, and end up spending way too much of our personal time thinking about work.
If you do this, then you’re likely to burn out sooner or later. You work hard during the week, and you deserve to enjoy your weekends. If you’re struggling, here are some ideas that you might want to try…
Leave work at the office
Are you in the habit of bringing your laptop home on a weekend? Or do you fill your bag with paperwork, just in case there’s something that you need to check? Getting out of these habits can help you to make sure that you aren’t tempted to do work over the weekends. It’ll still be there waiting for you on Monday morning, so avoid the temptation and don’t take anything home with you unless it really is absolutely necessary!
Create boundaries for yourself – and stick to them!
Ultimately, you’re in control of your spare time. You need to recognise that, and take the power back. Set some rules for yourself, and stick to them. You might decide, for example, that you won’t answer any work calls over the weekend. If that’s the case, put your phone away and don’t look at it. Once you get into some positive routines, you’ll start to find that it really makes a big difference.
Lead by example
Often, taking work home with you isn’t just an individual problem. It’s part of the culture of the organisation, and this can be really toxic. People end up feeling like they have to work over the weekends. Ultimately, this does nothing to help a company thrive and build up great morale. If you’re managing a team, be sure to talk to them about taking time out for themselves, and creating healthy boundaries. In the end, you’re going to create a much more productive team.
If you feel like you have nothing to do, then you might fall into doing work purely out of habit or boredom. So instead, create an itinerary for the weekend. Book in a lunch date with a friend, ring your parents and tell them you’ll visit, plan a long walk with your dog, or just choose a film that you want to watch that you haven’t had time for.
Remember that you shouldn’t feel guilty about enjoying your weekends and taking some time for yourself. By the time Monday morning comes, you’ll be feeling refreshed, relaxed, and ready to get stuck into a new week!