Bennis Inc. | What Is This Madness About Work-Free Weekends?
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What Is This Madness About Work-Free Weekends?


As a business owner, you may have a habit of overdoing things. Such as, you’re always first in the office and last to leave. You answer emails through your evenings, and you usually continue to check email from your phone throughout the night. As for weekends…what are they again?

In many ways, being willing to go above and beyond is a commitment you made when you started a business. Still, letting work consume your evenings and weekends is a mistake. For one, it can lead to burnout. If that happens, all those extra hours will result in nothing more than an inability to get anything done. The work you produce during evenings won’t be any good, and your daytime efforts will soon start to lag, too. As if that weren’t enough, your personal life will also begin to suffer. You can forget holding down a marriage or even a friendship if you operate like this.

In case you hadn’t guessed it by now, taking time for yourself and your loved ones is essential stuff. That’s why these pointers are designed to remind you what a weekend looks like.

Plan your next working week on Friday

Whether you’re a fan of to-do lists or not, planning is essential for time management in business. Your best bet for free weekends is to plan your work for the next week before leaving the office on Friday. That way, you can get straight to work on Monday morning and not miss out because of your time off. Planning like this also has the benefit of keeping you on track through the week. By sticking to your schedule, you can ensure you finish everything necessary by the following Friday. This again frees you up for those all-important weekends.

Cover your bases

If you’re panicking about the idea of leaving your business unattended for two days, don’t. By covering your bases, you can ensure that your enterprise doesn’t implode in your absence. You can make sure your website keeps ticking over by outsourcing managed IT services who can monitor things. You can keep weekend clients feeling in the loop by at least setting up an ‘out of office’ auto-response on your emails, so you don’t feel the pressure to respond in real time. With plans like these in place, it’s as though you can press pause on Friday, and play again when Monday rolls around.

Turn off your notifications

In an ideal world, this point would be to do away with tech during the weekends altogether. But, that’s not a practical option for many of us. Instead, then, just turn off any business-related notifications. Even if you think you won’t cave, seeing a work email crop up dangles unnecessary temptation in your way. It also takes your mind off enjoying your weekend and puts it back in the office. With an out of office notification, there’s no pressure to respond to those emails. Thus, you don’t even need to look at them until Monday. Let this be the last thing you do on Friday, then try your best to unwind and focus on your family!

Stephanie Shirley