Have you ever gone into work on Monday wishing you had made better use of the weekend? Maybe you wanted to be a tourist in your own city, or spend some time reading that book you bought months ago.
Taking the time out to have a productive weekend can actually be linked to improved workplace performance. A study by the University of Warwick found that happiness makes people more productive at work. While being happy in your work environment plays a massive factor, it’s important to think about what drives you outside of your job.
Having a productive weekend can put you in a frame of mind that you take into work first thing on a Monday morning. Here are a few – and surprising – ways that you can boost your productivity over the weekend.
Tell someone to wake up early on the weekend and they’ll probably look at you with raised eyebrows. However, that famous phrase “the early bird catches the worm” holds some truth. Having an early start allows you to get more done with fewer distractions. Skip the snooze button and get out of bed as soon as you can and immediately you’ll have more time to do the things you’ve been putting off.
The first point is of course dependent on the time you go to bed the night before. A lot of people don’t realise it but burnout can lead to us having super unproductive days at work and a lack of sleep contributes to exhaustion and stress. A study by the University of Chicago followed volunteer students who only slept for four hours a night for six consecutive days. The results revealed that they experienced high blood pressure, fewer antibodies and even insulin resistance. All of these however were reversed when they made up the hours of sleep they lost.
It’s important that your weekends feel different to your weekdays in order to stimulate more brain activity. At work if you’re faced with a problem you can’t quite solve, some people may advise stepping away from it and returning to it after engaging in a different activity. You should do the same with your weekends. Spend time outdoors or doing activities that are different to your everyday work and which you don’t find time to do during the week. For example, millionaire Warren Buffet plays the ukulele over the weekends. Not only can indulging in hobbies and interests develop creativity, but doing an activity you enjoy or have a passion for can relieve stress and increase your overall happiness.
Check out some creative and musical outlets to get you started.
The weekend is the perfect time for you to work on projects and classes that can equip you with skills you need in order to grab a promotion, or a new job entirely. A lot of short courses are run on the weekend so that there’s no clashing with work during the week. Try your hand at a short course or make the time to go to seminars and talks that can further your career. Using your weekend to expand your horizons, challenge yourself intellectually and open yourself to new experiences can boost your confidence, which can then transcend into your weekday work-life.
There are so many courses to choose from that understanding productivity itself may be the starting point to overhauling the way you approach weekends. Try a short course for yourself and learn how to train yourself into habits that will have a positive effect in the long run.
Safeera is Editor of Whatuni and a journalist from Kingston University. Always the inquisitive, her writing spans across a number of areas such as sustainability, fashion, lifestyle and now education. Her belief that you never stop learning and passionate nature has taken her to New York City as part of her degree and across the airwaves on national radio talking about the issues that matter to her.