That threatening sense of fear of Monday morning – nicknamed “Sunday Scarecrows” – seemed to strike every week.
I would try to enjoy relaxing weekend activities, but I struggled to retire as the workweek approached. All I could think about were the responsibilities that awaited me in the office:
- Full mail.
- A complete schedule.
- A to-do list.
- The inevitable problems that would arise as I managed it all.
That’s when I realized: that maybe a week alone wasn’t a problem. Maybe my weekend activities didn’t prepare me to tackle the job that awaited me.
Proper plans for your non-working days can give you the stamina to do things when it matters most. The same is true the other way around: more motives you will find the motivation to power during the week when you have something refreshing or fun for the weekend.
Are you looking for some fresh ideas to increase your efficiency at work? Here are some weekend activities to adjust productivity each week.
Meditation can benefit your brain and behavior, from increasing your self-awareness and reducing stress to increasing creativity and patience.
All of these things are tangential to work productivity, but gaining the ability to be fully present can significantly impact your ability to focus – and get things done – throughout the week.
If meditation seems overwhelming, start small. Focus on a relaxing task, such as coloring or simply breathing, carefully for 5-10 minutes. Write a thank-you note to improve your positive thinking. If you want help with this process, download a meditation app like Headspace or Insight Timer.
Picture. Writing. Renovate your living room. All creative endeavors have one thing in common: they improve your well-being and brain function.
It is well known that a sense of mastery (essentially, achieving something) can improve your mental health, freeing up space for the mind to focus on work during the week. Creativity also encourages a state of “flow,” improving your productivity.
No matter how you decide to practice creativity, make sure your brain is relieved from the actual work.
Reading is an easy way to relax any day, but it is conducive to preparing for the workweek. Any book you find interesting can be relaxing and enjoyable, but no matter what you choose, aim for paper – all this time staring at screens can reduce your ability to read an actual book.
In my experience, reading a great novel also helps me be more empathetic, and the ability to think from another person’s perspective can improve your relationships and problem-solving abilities. It’s a win-win!
It takes a little work to motivate myself, especially on the weekends – but I’ve found that my brain feels more precise, and my body feels more relaxed the more physical activity I do.
It isn’t easy to overemphasize the benefits of physical activity. Exercise affects every area of health, from your mental well-being to your life expectancy and disease risk.
Scientific evidence shows that routine exercise can improve memory, focus, and attention span, all of which contribute to your productivity during the week.
Even if you are not athletic, choose an activity you like to do and do it for 30 minutes a day. If you can’t go to the gym or don’t have the equipment at home, turn on a YouTube course or go for a walk outside. You will enjoy it in the long run, but if you are similar to the menu, even the immediate benefits of body movement will pay off.
Learn how to find the motivation to exercise when you hate exercise.
Spending time outdoors
Outdoor time is a simple, enjoyable way to improve health and, along the way, improve productivity and focus on work. For example, sunlight in the morning helps regulate your circadian rhythm, promoting better sleep and mood. Greenery has also improved brain function – even just watching a beautiful outdoor scene can be a significant blow.
Try to spend as much time outdoors on the weekends – walking around the neighborhood, hiking your favorite trails, or even working in your backyard. Opt for exercising in nature, and you will get the best of both worlds!
You’ve probably heard the phrase “I work for the weekend.” While I firmly believe that people should be passionate about their work, I also know how useful it is to have something to expect throughout the week.
Psychological research suggests that people with more motivation will achieve more motivation.
Encourage work by planning something to look forward to over the weekend – seeing a loved one, ordering from your favorite export, taking a mini adventure out of town, or a special movie night with the family.
If there’s one hobby I’m glad I adopted during the pandemic, it’s cooking. Using your five senses is a great way to practice mindfulness and reduce anxiety. Preparing meals for the weekend can also help you save time during the week.
I love making a great Sunday dinner and saving leftovers to eat early in the week. Sometimes, I order groceries and prepare ingredients on Sunday afternoons, and if I feel ambitious, I will make separate batches of food that will freeze and heat up when I’m not cooking.
Time without screen
There’s nothing wrong with some technology-focused entertainment, but if your business relies on technology all week, it would be good to unwind on the weekends.
First of all, too many screens, especially at night, interfere with sleep. To best prepare for success at work, you’d want to make up for lost weekends – and all that blue light won’t support a refreshing vacation.
Planning the week
Is your goal to increase productivity? The most important part of your weekend then is the time you need to set intentions for the week ahead.
There is no single schedule for success. The way you plan your week should ultimately depend on your big goals and the tasks you need to accomplish to achieve them.
There is also evidence that high performance is more likely to occur when people and organizations take the time to plan how to meet their goals. Don’t skimp on this part – studies show that you will achieve more when your planning quality is high.