Monday, 22 October 2018

Working At The Weekend - How to Be Productive and to Re-claim Your Weekend

When I was working in consulting, working at the weekend is pretty much a norm. But since leaving consultancy four years ago, I now have tasted the sweetness of having the whole weekend to myself, doing things that I fancy with minimal thought about work. Until about Sunday evening, of course when I often start thinking where had the weekend gone?

Having said that, occasionally, unavoidable things happened and we are left with no choice but to switch our work laptop on at the weekend. And this happened to me recently, where I had to sacrifice part of my weekend to get work done, for a number of weeks.

You would think that I would feel begrudging about the whole situation, but in hindsight, I feel that the whole experience wasn't entirely bad. While I definitely do not want to make it a frequent habit I definitely think my positive feeling about it is down to these 5 tips.

1. Acceptance

As with most things in life, the sooner you acknowledge that you have to sacrifice your weekend to get some work done, you'll start channelling your energy positively. If it had to be done, there isn't much point resisting, because, as they say, resistance is futile.

2. Pick a day

This, of course, will depend on the amount of workload on your plate. For me, if I have to do work at the weekend, I try to focus and be productive as much as I can so that I could still have one of the weekend days for myself. I will take a break from work on Friday evening and aim to get the work done either on Saturday or Sunday. This will also depend on what weekend commitments I'd made previously.

3. Get up and get going

This could be a divisive point. Personally, if I have to work at the weekend, I'd treat it like a working day. I'd get up, shower and put on something comfy but not overly cosy or too loungy. Most definitely not in pyjamas. I would also avoid working in the bedroom or on the sofa. As I don't have a separate office space at home, I often work at the dining table, with a cup of coffee at the ready!

4. Tackle the frog 

As mention, I don't often have the need to work at the weekend. But when I do, it's often due to something urgent or a significant deliverable. As such, during the time that I worked, I kept my head down and focused on the specific task at hand. This is not the time for me to complete BAU stuff which can wait. And once I have completed the said task, I will stop and reclaim my weekend again because, as you know, work never ends and it's important that you know when to stop.

5. Be kind to Yourself

Once your work is done, give yourself a pat on the back and give yourself a treat. Nothing overly fancy. Typically for me, I would go out or order a meal in because, you know, I totally deserve it.

We all need the weekend to relax so we feel fresh and ready to tackle the brand new week ahead. But if you ever have to work at the weekend, I hope you will find these tips handy and useful.

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