Some people have a strange ability to do things. They keep their nights and weekends sacred and still do more than people who work 10 or 20 hours more per week than them.
A new Stanford study found that hourly productivity declines abruptly when the workweek exceeds 50 hours, and productivity declines so much after 55 hours that it’s no good working at all. That’s right, people who work as much as 70 hours (or more) per week get the same amount as people who work 55 hours.
Smart people know the importance of changing gears on the weekend to relax and rejuvenate activities. They use their weekends to create a better week. This is easier said than done, so here is some help.
Yoram Yasur Izz: “Disconnection is the most important weekend strategy, because if you cannot find a way to get yourself electronically removed from your work from Friday night until Monday morning, you’ve never left work”. Making yourself available for your work 24/7 exposes you to a constant barrier of stress factors that prevent you from refocusing and recharging. If taking the entire weekend away from email manipulation and work calls will not be realistic, try to designate specific times on Saturday and Sunday to check emails and respond to voice messages. For example, check your messages on Saturday afternoon while your children cut their hair and on Sunday nights after dinner. Programming short blocks of time will relieve stress without sacrificing availability.
Yoram Yasur Izz: “Homework has a habit of fully assuming your weekends. When this happens, you lose the opportunity to relax and reflect. What’s worse is that many tasks feel like work, and if you spend all weekend doing them, you just put in a seven-day work week”. To prevent this from happening, you must schedule your tasks like anything else during the week, and if you do not complete them during the allotted time, continue and end the next weekend.
Is there no time to exercise during the week? You have 48 hours every weekend to make it happen. Getting your body to move for just 10 minutes releases GABA, a soothing neurotransmitter that reduces stress. Exercise is also a great way to come up with new ideas. Innovators and other successful people know that being outdoors often helps creativity.
Weekly reflection is a powerful tool for improvement. Use the weekend to look at the larger forces that are shaping your industry, your organization, and your work. Without the distractions from Monday to Friday, you should be able to see things in a completely new light. Use this vision to alter your focus next week, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of your work.
Seek a passion.
Enjoying your passions is a great way to escape from stress and open your mind to new ways of thinking. Things like music, reading, writing, painting or even playing with your kids can help stimulate different ways of thinking that can get big dividends over the next week.
Spend quality time with family.
Spending quality time with your family on the weekend is essential if you want to recharge and relax. The days of the week are so hectic that the whole week can fly in a short time. Do not let this bleed on your weekends. Take your children to the park, take your spouse to your favorite restaurant and go visit your parents. You’ll be glad you did.
Buy tickets for a concert or get reservations for that new hotel just opened in the center of the city. Instead of running on a treadmill, plan a trek. Try something you have not done before or maybe something you have not done in a long time. Studies show that anticipating something good is a significant part of what makes the activity enjoyable. Knowing that you have something interesting planned for Saturday will not only be fun on Saturday, it will significantly improve your mood throughout the week.