Merge's Blog

Stop working on the weekend!

Businessman using modern smartphone or mobile phone. New technolBack in 2011, we conducted a fun informal poll at our website that asked the question: What is your single biggest time waster at work? And the top two answers were Other people and Email. I had that poll in my mind when I also realized that we (in Canada and the United States at least) are heading into a long weekend, so today’s blog post seems particularly timely – how not to get caught in the trap of working on the weekend.  Now many of you are from countries other than Canada and the United States, and others of you work unusual shifts, so translate the topic to be “how not to get caught in the trap of working on your days off”.

The problem is that in today’s highly-connected tech world, so many of us can’t seem to shut work down when we’re supposed to be off. In fact, some of the leaders in my client organizations have sheepishly admitted to regularly saying out loud “I’ll get that done over the weekend.” I say it’s gotta stop!

But how? Well, several of the experts in this area recommend that you try to front-load your week. The reality of today’s world of work is that unanticipated issues will always come up, no matter how much you wish they wouldn’t or how hard you try to plan for them. So book most of your meetings from Monday to Wednesday and taper down as the week goes on. Ideally, you should reserve at least half of your Friday to tie up all those loose ends. And we might as well address the email issue as well. In order to avoid trap of answering emails over the weekend, do two things. One, block out a designated time each day during the week to deal with email; that will leave less left over for you to “manage on the weekend”. And two, turn your work phone or tablet off at 6 PM on Friday, and don’t turn it on until Monday morning. Yeah, I know, this last one will require a major leap of faith, but do it anyway! I know you can! Here’s another idea. Plan a fun event for your weekend, perhaps a kayaking trip, or visiting the fair, or a movie marathon with your pals; it’s easier to get things finished up on Friday if you know that you’ve got fun stuff to do on the weekend.

Well, what do you think? Are my suggestions practical? What are you doing to make sure that you don’t get caught in the trap of working on the weekend? Please share by adding your Comment below.

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