9 WEEKEND ACTIVITIES TO GET YOU READY FOR PRODUCTIVITY THE NEW WEEK

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9 WEEKEND ACTIVITIES TO GET YOU READY FOR PRODUCTIVITY THE NEW WEEK

I would try to enjoy relaxing weekend activities, but as the workweek approached, I found myself struggling to finish. All I could think of were the responsibilities that awaited me in the office: a full inbox, a full schedule and to-do list, and the inevitable problems that would come up while I handled it all.

That looming sense of dread about Monday morning, dubbed the “Sunday Scaries,” seemed to hit more each week.

Then, I realized: maybe the week itself was not the problem. Maybe my weekend activities just weren’t preparing me to tackle the work that lay ahead.

In my experience, one of the biggest predictors of a successful work week is a strategic weekend.

The right plans on your days off can provide the stamina you need to get things done when it matters most. The same is true the other way around – you’ll find more motivation to power during the week when you have something refreshing or fun to look forward to on the weekend.

Looking for some new ideas to maximize your effectiveness at work? Here are 9 weekend activities to get you ready for productivity each week.

MEDITATION

Meditation can benefit your brain and behaviour in many ways, from increasing your self-awareness and reducing stress to improving creativity and patience.

All of those things are tangentially related to work productivity, but gaining the ability to be fully present can have a huge impact on your ability to focus – and get things done – throughout the week.

If the meditation feels overwhelming, start small. Focus on a relaxing task, like colouring or just breathing, carefully for 5-10 minutes. Write in a gratitude journal to improve your positive thinking. For help in the process, download a meditation app like Headspace or Insight Timer.

SOMETHING CREATIVE

Painting, Writing and Redecorating your living room. All creative endeavours have one thing in common: they improve your well-being and brain function.

It’s well known that a sense of mastery (essentially, accomplishing something) can improve your mental health, freeing up mental space so you can focus on work during the week. Being creative also encourages a state of “flow,” which can improve your productivity.

READING

Reading is an easy way to relax any day, but preparing for the workweek is especially helpful. Any book you find interesting can be relaxing and enjoyable, but no matter what you choose, aim for the paper – all that time staring at screens can reduce your ability to read an actual book.

There is also evidence to suggest that reading fiction can improve your brain connectivity and function, contributing to your productivity in obvious ways.

EXERCISE

It takes some work to motivate me, especially on the weekends, but I found that my brain feels clearer and my body feels more relaxed the more physical activity I do.

It’s hard to overemphasize the benefits of physical activity. Exercise affects every area of ​​health, from your mental well-being to your life expectancy and risk of disease. But it is also beneficial for your brain.

Scientific evidence shows that routine exercise can improve memory, focus, and attention span, all of which contribute to your productivity during the week.

SPENDING TIME OUTDOORS

Time outside is a simple and enjoyable way to increase your health and, along the way, improve your productivity and focus at work. For example, the sun in the morning helps regulate your circadian rhythm, which promotes better sleep and mood.

Vegetation has also been shown to improve brain function; even just looking at a scene fairly outdoors can take a significant hit.

SOMETHING FUNNY

You’ve probably heard the phrase “working on the weekend.” “While I strongly believe that people should be passionate about their jobs, I also know how helpful it is to have something to look forward to throughout the week.”

Psychological research suggests that with an incentive ahead, people find more motivation to achieve.

TO COOK

If there is one hobby that I am glad I adopted during the pandemic, it is cooking. Using your five senses is a great way to practice mindfulness and reduce anxiety. Preparing meals on the weekend can also help you save time during the week.

I like to make a big Sunday dinner and save the leftovers to eat for the first part of the week. Sometimes I also order groceries and prep ingredients on Sunday afternoons, and if I’m feeling ambitious I’ll make separate batches of food to freeze and reheat later, when I don’t feel like cooking.

SCREEN FREE TIME

There’s nothing wrong with tech-centric entertainment, but if your work relies on technology for the entire week, it’s a good idea to unplug on the weekends.

First of all, too much screen time, especially at night, interferes with sleep. To better prepare for success at work, you’ll want to catch up on missed rest over the weekend, and all that blue light isn’t going to support restorative rest.

Also, your brain probably needs a break from the constant input of the internet. It may seem relaxing to mindlessly scrolling Twitter, but there is plenty of evidence that too much screen time can interfere with healthy brain function.

Allow yourself a few screen-free hours on Saturdays and Sundays, and you’ll find yourself more creative and focused during the week.

PLANNING YOUR WEEK

Your goal is to improve your productivity? Arguably the most important part of your weekend is the time it takes to set your intentions for the upcoming week.

There is no single schedule for success. How you plan your week should ultimately depend on your overall goals and the tasks you need to accomplish to achieve them.

There is also evidence that high performance is more likely to occur when individuals and organizations take the time to plan how they will meet their goals. Don’t skimp on this part – studies show that you’ll also accomplish more when your planning quality is high.

You may not want to spend your weekend designing your schedule and setting goals, but you will find that your stress decreases and your effectiveness increases if you do.

The same is true for the other weekend activities. It may seem better to focus on Netflix, but it is worth investing in for success, especially if you eliminate those Sunday Scaries once and for all. Want to learn even more about the best weekend activities for personal development? Take a look at 13 things to do on the weekends to improve your life.

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