10 of My Favorite Non-Work Work Tasks for Weekends and Holidays

I don’t always work on weekends and holidays, but sometimes I really need to feel work-productive, especially when there is a long weekend in the works. And sometimes, I need a break from the craziness of a holiday, and the reliability of an hour of work is a good way for me to get that…and stay on track in the process.

I usually don’t do anything “major” when it comes to working on weekends or holidays. In fact, I like to focus mostly on “busy work.” You know, the mindless kind of work that needs to get done but doesn’t always require a lot of brain power. So, with that in mind, here are ten of my favorite non-work work tasks to tackle in spurts on the weekend and holidays. You can add one of two of these to your own holiday break to incorporate a little productivity without getting overly involved in work.

1. Read Blogs – I subscribe to a lot of blogs, and I always have a backlog of unread posts in my reader to get through. This is the perfect weekend work because it can be done in small segments of time, it’s easy to start and stop, and clearing out even one chunk of unread posts can be hugely gratifying.

2. Clear My Inbox – Many times, my inbox acts as a running to-do list. At least until I move the action item out of my email and into my project management software. I like to use weekends to handle this transition from email to task. It helps me stay organized and gives me a clean email slate to work with on the next workday.

3. Purge Downloads - How often do you check your downloads folder and clean out old stuff? If you do anything online, your downloads can get out of hand very quickly. This is also when I straighten up the desktop on my computer, empty the trash and file away miscellaneous files.

4. Run PC Maintenance – Along with cleansing your downloads, the weekend and holidays are a good time to run maintenance functions on your computer to keep it healthy. Since these processes can take a while and sometimes slow down your machine, off-time is a great time to get it done.

5. Goal Review – I’m a proponent of year-round goal-setting and process checks, although it can be difficult to squeeze it in during your packed workweek. Weekends and holidays, especially if you can grab an hour or two of quiet, can be the perfect time to analyze what you’ve done and figure out where you need to go.

6. Facebook Page Exploration – There are hundreds of Facebook pages I have on my list to delve into because I enjoy the topic and/or I’m looking for inspiration I can use on pages I develop in the future. This makes the perfect “light” work that can be done without too much intensity on the weekends or holidays.

7. Twitter Chatting - I’m not always able to be as engaged in social media as I would like to be during the week, but the off-hours, weekends and holidays provide a great opportunity to catch up and stay connected.

8. Personal Projects – Personal projects, because they are not paid and usually don’t include other people waiting for the results, are notorious for getting dropped to the bottom of the list. Granted, some of the work on personal projects is intense, but a lot of it is planning and organization that can be done on weekends and holidays.

9. Financial Check – Running reports, checking on payment status and updating expenses is another non-critical business task that doesn’t always make my high-priority list but can be a great task to tackle during off-time.

10. Business Wish List Updating – I keep a running list of business products and services I want to purchase for my business at some time in the future. Whether it’s books, software, equipment or training, weekends and holidays give me time to shop around and add a few more items to my list.

Of course, I don’t tackle all of these things every weekend or holiday, and I always plan some completely unplugged, non-work time, but these are my favorite go-to tasks when I need a jolt of work. What are yours?

Image credit: tsuacctnt

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  • http://www.apcooper.co.uk AndrewCooper

    What a brilliant Christmas Eve blog post, Alyssa! :) Love it! I pretty much do all of these, almost all the time, and sometimes it actually feels like real work because of how much time it can take up to do – Especially reading blogs that are frequently updated each week!

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! :)

    Andrew Cooper

  • Anonymous

    It’s fine to be a workaholic but please don’t spread the disease…

  • Rick

    Nice list! I have been doing my ‘new years resolutions’ or whatever you want to call them early. I, too, am trying to read and participate in more blogs and social media outlets such and twitter. It is very beneficial for business and personal reasons! Twitters been a tough one for me to keep up with, I just like facebook better I guess? lol. I also plan to purge my ENTIRE pc, format the whole thing and start from scratch. No program you download will make it run as fast as when you start with a clean install like that! Anyways, happy holidays, and happy new year!
    Rick Stan
    Florida Keys Fishing
    Bud N’ Mary’s Marina

  • ashleyrsmith

    Great list! In fact, I’m printing it now as a reminder to myself of good ideas for light work on weekends.

    Thanks!
    Ashley

  • jerichvc

    On my end, its clearing up hard disk space :D Backup and delete files. :D

  • Chris A

    Alyssa, some great ideas on the list. In fact I’m way overdue in purging my downloads. Also, doing the things on your list with an adult beverage in hand makes it go a lot easier!