Why You Need To Stop Working Weekends
Do you work weekends?
That's a trick question because I know you do!
When you own your own business, you never really switch off. There's always something to do. Emails, marketing, social media, blogging, sourcing clients, networking, invoicing, refining systems, tweaking your website, updating your portfolio.... and so on.
As well, smart phones and laptops mean it’s super easy to check messages and send emails at all hours.
Plus sometimes, it feels good to be productive and focused getting stuff out on the weekend.
For me, I've spent several years putting others' needs first - babies, children and my husband's career overseas, it's a joy to run my own show.
I often dash off a bunch of emails or edit a newsletter post in that brief 90 minute quiet Saturday afternoon while the kids are watching a movie.
But it also feels like you can never take a break.
Sometimes I wish I could be vegging in front of Moana instead of cramming in some last minute work. Because how good does it feel to switch off completely and put your feet up? And I always wonder, do I really have to do this right now?
If if I didn't do it, if I shut down my computer and stepped away from my desk, just like any 9-5 job and took a whole 2 days off - how amazing would that feel? And how much more refreshed and energised would I be on Monday morning?
The answer is A LOT.
It shouldn’t take a big long vacation to have time off. Or a long weekend.
It should be every weekend. Isn't that why we're running out own businesses? To make our own hours and spend time with family or however we want?
That’s the aim of the game, my friend. So, if you’re not making the time to relax and take at least ONE WHOLE DAY OFF each week, then read on…
You need to make a plan to relax
It sounds counter intuitive, doesn't it? But it doesn’t need to be. I mean, you plan your work days so why not plan your time off?
So, here's how:
Use your time beforehand to be really efficient
The knowledge that you’re having Saturday and Sunday on will hopefully spur you to great things on Friday instead of slowly whiling down the week
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Know what you want to achieve on your time off
Decide what you want to do beforehand, even if it's just normal stuff - afternoon naps, a run in the park, take the kids swimming, watch 1 movie, have dinner with friends, etc. Now how good does that sound?
Don’t compromise your time off.
Don’t find yourself doing stuff you don’t want to do. You're not taking a day off so you can do the laundry. Though of course you need to do that too, and hell, maybe that is a break in your life! But make sure you also do plan something to look forward to.
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Tell people you're away
One of the problems with being a responsive freelancer is that people always assume you're on the clock. If that's you, put an out of office on.
Tell your friends and family you're having the day off. This has the reverse effect of making you accountable to take a break! Your partner will be happy to tell you to stay off your phone, and your kids will happily remind you that this is family time.
Switch off the phone and the laptop
It’s easier said than done, I know. Personally, I find that if I leave my phone in a room I don’t frequent much during the day (eg my bedroom), I forget about it for longer. It’s only when it’s on hand that I feel the compulsive need to keep checking it.
That's it! Now go plan for your glorious weekend and the real perks of being a freelancer.
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