For those of us who prioritize rest and relaxation during our days off, “weekend” and “productivity” don’t seem like compatible concepts. But for workers in leadership positions (and those who aspire to leadership positions down the road), weekend habits can provide an excellent springboard for a smooth and effective work week. For example, consider these 8 behaviors that your boss, your boss’s boss, and even the folks at the top of the company totem pole probably use on Saturdays and Sundays.
1. Disconnecting from work-related correspondence.
Of course, smart managers will glance at their phones from time to time even on the weekends, just in case there’s an emergency that truly can’t wait until Monday morning. But aside from a quick check-in once or twice a day, many successful bosses will unplug on their days off, freeing their minds from office concerns and giving their work brains some much-needed downtime.
2. Keeping chores to a minimum.
Some people do choose to wait on household chores until the weekend, then devote an entire day to tackling the laundry, mopping, yard work, and whatever else they need to get done. But since you only get two free days per week, why waste them on cleaning projects? Instead, try to schedule small pockets of time throughout the week to handle chores so that you won’t be faced with a behemoth at-home workload when you wake up on Saturday morning.
3. Participating in physical activity.
If you work 40+ hours per week and perform at a high level, it can be tough to carve out time for regular exercise. The weekend offers a prime opportunity to lace up those sneakers and get your body moving in a way that’s enjoyable for you, whether that be taking a long stroll, biking to town to check out the farmer’s market, or heading to your favorite yoga studio.
4. Thinking about big-picture stuff (both at work and in her personal life).
Managers must deal with tons of minutia during the work week, like employee schedules, paperwork, fielding client emails, and so on. This can leave few viable chances to take a step back and look at the “big picture” of what she’s trying to accomplish for her team, for her clients, and for the company as a whole. Similarly, big decisions in her personal life can feel burdensome to parse through from Monday through Friday...but on a quiet Sunday, she may take a quiet moment to relax, take a deep breath, and start looking into these macro matters.
5. Spending time on activities that she enjoys and feels passionate about.
Like exercise, hobbies frequently take a backseat when a supervisor is wading through a torrent of work issues. That’s why, if your boss is someone with an off-the-clock passion like knitting, birdwatching, museum browsing, theater viewing, or poetry-writing, she probably devotes time to those pursuits over the weekend, to enrich her life by bringing her joy and satisfaction totally separate from her work life.
6. Getting together with friends, family, and loved ones.
Especially in fields that require significant travel and/or lengthy office hours, spending time with loved ones often falls into the “I wish I could do it more, but I don’t have the flexibility” category. But if you regularly get weekends off as a boss, then you’re probably investing at least some of those hours in gatherings and activities with your family, your friends, your partner, your pets, or whoever else matters most to you.
7. Trying a new “mini-adventure” whenever possible.
Effective leaders often have keen senses of curiosity; they want to know what’s new, what’s exciting, and what they have yet to discover. Although a weekend isn’t quite enough time for a lengthy vacation or international travel, it’s plenty of time for a fun “mini-adventure” in your own city or region. Check out a restaurant you’ve never visited before, try a new hiking trail, pop your head into that quirky artisan-craft store in your town center...the possibilities are endless!
8. Maintaining her weekday sleep schedule.
Counterintuitive though it may seem, using the weekend to snooze well past your regular wake-up time won’t help you return to work well-rested. In actuality, messing with your sleep timing can throw off your body’s natural rhythms, leaving you feeling groggy, less focused, and short-tempered when Monday rolls around. For that reason, many management-level workers keep their weekday wake-up hours intact on Saturdays and Sundays.