Happy weekend! While it’s a time of total relaxation for those who work 9-5, if you’re a freelancer or side hustler, a work-free weekend is a luxury that we don’t always get to enjoy. If you’ve had a few working weekends in a row and you’re feeling run down, anxious or tired, then you absolutely need to throw your laptop in the air like you just don’t care. Actually, don’t. That won’t end well. But do follow these steps to avoid work at all costs this weekend:
Activate your out of office response
It should be pretty obvious to your clients that you will be unavailable over the weekend, but if they’re the kind of clients that work 24/7 (like most startups) then don’t be afraid to put on your out of office response. State in your automatic reply that you are avoiding your emails and enjoying a work-free weekend – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this – and your clients will probably be thankful that you’re recharging and getting ready for any work they will send you the following week.
Have a personal admin hour
Preferably even less time, but don’t dedicate more than an hour on the weekend to personal admin; that’s things like online shopping for necessities, RSVP-ing to weddings, messaging back friends to arrange dinners for the month ahead, and so on. Anything that you have been putting off ’til the weekend still needs to be done, but try to do it all in an hour and then step away from your phone.
Leave your phone in the house, turned off
This scares a lot of us, especially if you’re self-employed and practically live on your phone. After you’ve finished your personal admin hour, send any friends or family who are likely to get in touch a quick text to say “I’m turning off my phone for the day to spend some time in the outside world! If you need me I’ll get back to you tomorrow.” and then follow through with what you said: turn it off. Better yet, go out and enjoy yourself without your phone. It’s unlikely that you’ll bump into Beyoncé without your camera, but if you do then she’ll totally understand.
You can do all of the above, but at the end of the day it’s down to you whether you actually avoid work or not. Putting on your out of office doesn’t mean that you won’t still check your emails and respond to people that you feel “can’t wait until Monday”. Turning your phone off doesn’t mean that you won’t just turn it back on again and start browsing out of habit. Check in with yourself every time you feel the urge to work, count to ten and decide if it’s really worth giving up time with your friends and family at the weekend. You’ll feel better when you start to let things go.
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Photo by Jordan Bauer via Unsplash Jordan Bauer