If you read a lot of career advice on the internet, you’ve probably seen several different variations on this theme: don’t work on your days off, whether that’s Saturday/Sunday or in the middle of the week. The reasons behind that advice aren’t complicated: work all the time, and your productivity will diminish, making you less effective and less happy in your career.
But let’s say that you’re not convinced. You buy into this always-on culture — or you feel that you have no choice but to put in the extra time during your off-hours. If that’s the case, I invite you to consider the idea that by working all weekend long, you might be doing your career a disservice beyond just diminishing returns on productivity. Specifically, you won’t have time to do any of these things — all of which will help your career in long run:
1. Network the Old-Fashioned Way
When is brunch not just a late breakfast? When it’s a networking opportunity. The same goes for the neighborhood block party, your kid’s softball game, or a barbecue. The best networking is the organic kind that happens face-to-face.
2. Get Some Exercise
As the old expression goes, if you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything. Ideally, you’d be able to make time for exercise a few days a week, but when things are too busy at work to make that happen, the weekend is a perfect time to get some fresh air and exercise.
3. Make the Rest of Your Week Easier
Make a week’s worth of meals on Sunday, and forget about daily meal planning for the rest of the week. Coordinate a week’s worth of work clothes, and get ready every morning without worrying about your attire. Look ahead in your day planner and anticipate the snags — and unsnarl them before they can ruin your week. A little planning over the weekend can make your week a whole lot more pleasant.
Remember rest? It’s important. Give yourself a chance to power up again … by powering down for a while.
5. Have Some Fun
Hopefully, you like your job. Maybe you’re lucky enough to love it. But even people who have their dream jobs need to change tracks once in a while. When’s the last time you engaged in a hobby or had an idle conversation with a friend or tried something new? The weekend is a good time for it. You’ll go back to work well-rested and with a fresh perspective.
Tell Us What You Think
How does your time-off enhance your career? We want to hear from you. Tell us your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.