My wife and I work at least one day each weekend. Why? As we say regularly here at Praxis, when you are young you have lots of time and few responsibilities. You need to take advantage of that.
Amanda and I don’t have kids yet, so we made the conscious decision to spend our time getting ahead in our careers now before we start a family. We both work at rapidly growing companies, so opportunities to advance abound. Work we put in now is a great investment.
Given how much we work during the week, continuing to grind on the weekends isn’t always easy. Here is how we work on weekends without burning out.
- Get a change of scenery.
Wherever you usually work from, get a change of scenery. This adds an element of novelty and adventure. Amanda and I love exploring little towns around the Hudson Valley, so we pick a town and drive there after breakfast. We always find little coffee shops and cafes to work in. Public libraries are great options, too.
- Make a to-do list ahead of time.
Before we leave, we each make a list of what we want to accomplish during our work sessions. We focus these lists around a single subject so that we can put in a few hours of intense work at a time and knock out something big. Weekends are a great time to do work that you don’t normally get uninterrupted time for during the week. Amanda and I both like to do what we call “vision work”: Brainstorming, laying the groundwork for new opportunities, and outlining where we need to take projects next. Doing a different kind of work on the weekends makes it feel less like extra work. It is refreshing.
- Work for a set amount of time and plan fun breaks.
We like to work for 2-3 hour spans, take a little break, and then go somewhere else for another 2-3 hours. The small towns we visit often have bookshops to browse, parks to walk around in, and restaurants where we can have a snack. Regardless of where you are, take a break every few hours to do something you enjoy. Some weekends we pick towns where we want to visit a specific art museum or historic mansion. Build your work sessions around things like this to keep your weekends fun.
- Work your home responsibilities into the day.
Yes, weekends are often the only time you get to run errands and do laundry. Same with us. We handle that by doing a load of laundry before we leave and another after we get back home. Then we make sure to structure errands into our days: Swing by a store on the drive out, pick up coffee beans at a small roaster if we see one, stop at the grocery store on our way home, and fill our gas tank at the first station we drive by.
With a little creativity, you can fit serious work, errands, and fun into your weekend. Your willingness to do so is the difference between you being a just good employee and you being a value creator.