Working Over the Weekend? 7 Ways to Get It Done and Get Out

Alyssa Gregory
Alyssa Gregory

working outsideI admit, I frequently work on the weekends. While it tends to be more of a conscious decision than a unavoidable need, I still want to be able to get my work done and get away from the computer as quickly as possible. Here are a few tips to help you speed through your work this weekend and get out and enjoy some down time.

  • Set a time limit and stick to it. As important as your work is, I’m betting there are other things you’d rather be doing. So instead of going in with an open-ended plan that results in a marathon work session, set a specific stop time. Sometimes, it can be helpful to enlist the help of your family in enforcing that hard stop.
  • Focus on your shortlist. Give yourself 5 minutes to check-in and see what’s what before you do anything else. Look at your pending items, identify the 3 (or 2, 4 10 — whatever works for you) high-priority items that you can realistically accomplish in the time limit you set.
  • Don’t check email unless absolutely necessary. Email is a serious time drain, especially when you have a limited amount of time. It’s just way too easy to get pulled off track and lured into dealing with new issues, so it’s best to stay away.
  • Stay off the Internet. Like email, opening up your browser, unless you specifically need it to do your work, is dangerous. And this includes your RSS feeds and all social media sites.
  • Get it done early. I hate having a work issue hanging over my head when I’m trying to enjoy some time away, so for me, it’s always best to get the work done early, even before everyone else wakes up. This allows me to be truly disengaged from work later on.
  • Go into the quiet zone. Distractions can make what should be a quick task take twice as long. Try to give yourself an environment that supports the needed short-term intensity so you’re not battling a stop-and-go that hurts your productivity.
  • Leave it until Monday. When all else fails, cut your losses and vow to get it done on Monday. The truth of the matter is that there will always be work to do, whether it’s emails to reply to, projects to move forward or behind-the-scenes business administration tasks to tackle. Sometimes you just need to let things go another day or two and focus on the now.

Weekend days are definitely the minority in our schedules, so stay focused, and even if you don’t do this normally during the week, take all of the acceptable shortcuts available to you so you don’t lose the weekend to work.

So what are you waiting for? Stop reading this so you can get your work done, get away from the computer and enjoy your weekend!

Image credit: alicja_sto