10 Ways to Let Go of Work During the Weekend, There are no rules to this whole life thing. There’s no choice that’s good or bad. But there are choices that cause more pain than others. For example: obsessing over work, clients, contacts, and colleagues instead of truly enjoying your downtime, however short or long it may be.
If you sometimes let work-related stresses bleed into Saturday and Sunday, these tips might help you let go and relax, even if just for pockets of time:
1. End Friday well.
It’s hard to relax on Saturday if you failed to return four important calls, file important paperwork, or finish a marketing report on Friday. Think about all the work-related things you tend to think about on the weekends, whether it’s your Monday meeting or a weekly report. Then, take care of it as best you can before you leave.
In a perfect world, we’d all be so zen and mindful we’d just focus on what’s in front of us. But we’re human, and our thoughts do wander to things we have to do. So plan in advance as best you can to minimize potential stresses.
2. Be specific.
If you must do work on the weekend, be clear about how that will play out. It’s all too easy to get caught up in a task, especially if it’s something creative. If you’re comfortable devoting a weekend to work, then by all means, stay in the zone and keep going.
But if you’d like to leave yourself time to relax and enjoy time with people you love, be specific. Plan a time when you’ll work, with a concrete start and end. Then make a promise to yourself to let go when that time has come and gone. You can always get back in the zone. You can’t always see your son’s soccer game or enjoy Sunday brunch with your friends.
3. Tell people your plan.
If your friends and colleagues are accustomed to accessing your around the clock, they might not think twice of texting with a work-related question while you’re out with friends.
Tell them in advance you will not be available or will only be available between certain hours. It’s a lot easier for people to respect boundaries when you set them!
4. Set up a pre-written text.
I find it difficult to completely ignore text messages or turn my phone off for hours at a time. If you feel compelled to leave your phone on in case of emergency, prepare in advance so you won’t need to think about work too much if a work-related text comes in.
“Today is a text-free family day for me. I will respond in more detail on Monday.” It might take effort, but when you need to use this pre-written text, train yourself to think, “I am not obligated to think about work now, and I consciously choose not to.”
5. Enlist other people to help.
My boyfriend recently told me, “Finish all your work before tonight so I can have your full attention.” That simple request was a powerful reminder he deserves it and I deserve to be fully in the moment with him. SEE MORE ON PAGE 2