Want to get more out of your few precious hours off each weekend? It starts with planning ahead. Spend a few minutes strategizing now, and next weekend, you can be far away from your computer, doing anything but thinking about work.
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1. Nix the guilt.
“The hidden saboteur of joyful weekends is guilt,” says Sherlyn Pang Luedtke, author of The Mommy Advantage: How Having Kids Can Make You Happier, Healthier, and Wealthier, in an interview with Levo League. “It drives people to splurge on their partners, kids or their own inner child to compensate for ignoring them during the week.”
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with going on adventures on the weekend, to make up for a long week of toiling away at the office — as long as you want to. Too much pressure to make every second count on weekends off isn’t restful or fun, and won’t make you happier at home or at work.
2. Ruthlessly prioritize.
Sometimes, there’s no escaping work on the weekends. Just make sure that when you do sacrifice your time off, it’s because there’s absolutely no other option. Don’t get into the habit of working every Sunday, or answering emails while you’re picking apples or going skiing on a Saturday. If you make the weekend part of your work week, you’ll have no bandwidth to give extra when it’s crunch time.
3. Communicate with your manager.
Everyone wants to be able to do it all with grace and skill, but if you’re truly overworked, your good humor (and effectiveness) will decline pretty quickly. If you’re really having trouble getting a day or two away from work every week, consider looping your manager in on the problem.
Just keep in mind that higher-ups have a way of fixing problems without asking you if you like their solution. Before you wave the white flag and ask for help, honestly assess your situation and see if you can present a solution and not just a problem. If you can suggest unnecessary meetings to skip or slight schedule changes to make, you’ll make it easier for your boss to accommodate you, without rearranging things to suit the company’s needs and not your own.
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