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How to stop working on weekends and relax: 7 life hacks

TO A WAY OR ANOTHER EXTENT, WE ALL HAVE HAVE LEARNED THAT WORK should be loved, because it takes a lot of time, physical and emotional strength. But phrases like “turn what you love into work and you will never have to work” distort our perception – as if if a job is easy and brings joy, it’s not work at all. Sometimes a person begins to finish the tails in the evenings and on weekends, because something does not have time in the period of the approaching completion of the project – and then it becomes a habit. Unfortunately, working seven days a week can lead to burnout . We have compiled instructions on how to learn to disconnect from business issues and relax.  

Understand the load

If you constantly “do nothing”, you should think about the reasons. More often than not, procrastination, incoherence, or an inability to stop distractions seem to be the most obvious – and if you start berating yourself for this, you can only make the situation worse. It is possible that you are simply overwhelmed and perform tasks for two (or even three). Draw up a table or diagram with all the processes that you are involved in, determine how long it takes to complete each one with quality – and if it turns out that you have been burdened with too much, discuss the situation with your superiors. 

Freelancers also have an excessive amount of work – if there is no guarantee that in a month, six months or a year there will be enough orders, then there is a high temptation to grab onto everything that is offered right now. At the same time, the lack of an office and a tight schedule does not contribute to discipline, and you end up working seven days a week, sometimes at odd times of day. Tables and calculations will also help to deal with this situation: perhaps it is worth hiring an assistant, learning to say “no”, or explaining that you can take on a project only in a month. It will not be superfluous to calculate how much an hour of your working time costs – it will be easier to abandon low-paying projects.

Set boundaries

Many have long been using instant messengers as e-mail – they write at a convenient time for them, without expecting an immediate response. Try not to stick to your phone outside of working hours or on weekends, and highlight certain moments when parsing messages – for example, early in the morning it can be easier and faster to reply to everything received the night before. You can even remove work messengers from your phone so that you don’t see messages when you are not at your computer. 

You can honestly explain the situation to both old and new customers: you are trying to distinguish between personal and work, which means that now you will not respond to messages instantly. Do not be afraid that changing the communication mode will harm your reputation – on the contrary, a serious approach to planning your time commands respect, and in the end, the effectiveness and quality of work are important. And of course, at certain times, it is necessary to work after hours – for example, if you need to insure a colleague who has an emergency, or an international project is to be delivered, when the time difference between countries plays a role. 

Find a useful hobby

Sleep problems, muscle aches, and concentration problems can be signs of burnout and simply the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle. To stay healthy, it’s important to switch and be physically active. Look for a sport that appeals to your liking, whether it’s ballet, tennis, swimming or crossfit. Find a place for training, where it will be convenient to get – the point is that you would like to finish work as soon as possible and finally rush to training. 

It is quite possible that you will immediately begin to do more: physical shaking and switching from one activity to another will help you concentrate better and be more alert. Recall that the WHO recommends at least 150 minutes of intense aerobic exercise (or 300 minutes of moderate) and at least two strength training per week. This is a reference point that you can rely on, but the main thing is that physical activity should appeal to you personally.   

Realize the importance of sleep

If you don’t get enough sleep because of working late, try changing your priorities. Just set the time at which you will go to bed – let’s say eleven in the evening. An hour before it, stop working and contact the luminous screens – this hour can be devoted to communicating with your family, or you can brush your teeth early and go to bed with a book (just not on the topic of work). 

Very often, sleep deprivation is due precisely to the fact that a person goes to bed late and gets up early, and not to the quality of sleep. Prioritizing helps to make your regimen healthier: putting sleep first will give you sleep because you won’t have a chance to “work until midnight”. If, after adjusting your sleep regimen and hygiene, fatigue does not go away or you understand that you are sleeping anxiously or not deep enough, you should consult your doctor.  

Go away for the weekend

This item applies primarily to those who work remotely: when the office is at home, you are constantly at the workplace. It is difficult to disconnect on weekends because there is no change of scene. In addition, at home there is usually something to do – it is brewing that cleaning, then dismantling the closets – and you begin to make a choice in favor of paid work. The bottom line is still the same: overwork, confusion on weekends and weekends, and the feeling that you have not rested over the weekend. 

A change of scenery helps to disconnect from work completely: it is worth spending one full day away from home – and from the volume of new impressions it may seem like it was a long weekend. It is not necessary to fly somewhere every time – open the map of your city and select places where you have not yet (or have not been for a long time). Walk with curiosity, learn new things and try not to bury your phone. You can make it even easier – not looking for new places, but simply planning a weekend according to city posters: an exhibition, a movie, a dinner, a play. It seems to you that you have not been to the theater for a long time, because you do not have time – but you just need to plan everything and buy tickets. 

Read full immersion

Fiction is a good way to “escape reality”, which is needed just to stop thinking about work and check messengers. Don’t wade through works that are uninteresting or disliked – there is nothing wrong with dumping a book in the middle . You control your time and have the right not to waste it on things that do not bring the expected joy.  

Find literature that, like in childhood, makes you forget about everything and feel like you are inside a book. Genre is a matter of taste, but this is often the case with exciting adventures, travel books and detectives , in which you have to guess until the last who the killer is. Remember, you are not wasting time or procrastination – you are using your legitimate weekend to relax.   

Complete important matters

Finally, you probably have a list of things to do that you never reach: go to the bank, prepare documents for a new passport, take a couple of things to a dry cleaner or repair, or make an appointment with a doctor for a prophylactic examination. All this is no less important than work and rest, requires a certain amount of time and effort, and it is worth planning these things for the evening or one of the weekends (depending, of course, on the work schedule of the institution you need). 

The solution of such household or administrative issues cannot be called rest – but it is definitely a switch to another activity. In addition, a checkmark “done” on the to-do list (on paper, on the screen, or just in your mind), like nothing else, increases self-esteem, motivates and helps not to consider yourself an uncollected procrastinator. 

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