This Mindful Monday, I share why I stopped working weekends and what questions to ask yourself if you do work weekends to be more mindful about your choice.
Happy Monday! I hope you all had a delicious Thanksgiving full of quality time with family and friends.
In my post about what to do when you’re not feeling mindful, I mentioned that I gave up working over the weekend. Many of you said you were working on this yourself and wanted to hear more from me about my experience. Well, here it goes.
For the first half of this year, I was the Energizer Bunny. I just kept going, and going, and going. As a new business owner trying to “make it”, I felt a lot of pressure to hustle and put in long hours. And I did. Saturdays and Sundays were spent teaching yoga, making and shooting recipes for the blog, and writing these Mindful Monday posts. And to get it all done, I sacrificed time with my friends and quality time with Steve. At the end of the day I was sacrificing the things that bring me true happiness.
And that’s when work started to feel like a burden. My business started to feel like a burden. This blog started to feel like a burden. I remember one weekend when it all changed for me. I had my work to-do list ready for the weekend and the things I needed to check off. And then a friend reached out to hang out on Saturday. And I rationalized that it was fine to go hang out because I could get all my work done the following day. Well, then another friend reached out to see me on Sunday. And in that moment I had to choose. Work or friends. The decision came down to which is going to make me the happiest? I made the conscious choice to spend time with my friends rather than write a couple blog posts and make a couple recipes. And guess what? I was so happy. I felt amazing getting out of my apartment, connecting with people that bring me joy, laughing, and relaxing. Sure, I felt a little guilty that I wouldn’t have a blog post ready for the next day but I. Was. Happy. And at the end of the day all that matters is our happiness.
So that weekend was the changing point for me. After that I said no more work over the weekends. I work really hard during the week and I deserve a couple days off every week to recharge the batteries to come back to my work on Monday feeling refreshed and re-inspired. Now I’m not here today to say everyone should stop working over the weekend. I recognize that for some people, they have to work weekends. Whether it’s to pay the bills or to get a new business venture or project going or to do that thing that you’re really passionate about while you put in your non-passionate work 9-5 M-F. But if you are going to work weekends, I encourage you to ask yourself some questions and set some boundaries for ultimate life quality and satisfaction:
- What type of work are you doing over the weekend? Are you passionate about the things you work on? Does it bring you excitement?
- Are your intentions clear? Know why you’re working over the weekend and set some goals for what you want to accomplish. Maybe you want to write a chapter of a book you’re working on. Or, you want to retest that recipe you’re jazzed about. Whatever it is, be clear. Because if you’re not clear, you might find yourself doing work that’s not really getting you anywhere.
- Do you have boundaries? If you work over the weekend, set specific hours that you’re going to work and have a hard cut off time. Or, set specific hours that you want to dedicate to time with your family and friends or time for yourself. This way you’re careful not to work 24-7.
The reality is if you’re an entrepreneur like me, there’s always work to be done. I could work 70 hours a week and I’d still find other projects to work on. But there’s more to life than just work. There’s more to life than checking things off a list. There’s Love…Fun….Adventure…Nature. And if you’re not going to experience other things outside of work, then what is going to inspire your work?
This isn’t a hard rule either. It’s not like you either have to work weekends or not work weekends. I’m not saying I’m never going to work a weekend again. But I’m also not going to overbook myself and set unrealistic expectations that force me to work every weekend. If I do work it will be for a set number of hours and on a very specific project with a clear goal in mind. And you can bet it’s going to be work that I’m passionate about.
So ask yourself, is there work that you must do over the weekend? What’s the work you can let go of? What are other things that you would gain by giving up work over the weekend? Join me in taking the weekend back!
I have learned over the years that my exercise, family and friends always come first! That way I can be there for those I love and for my work!! Great post.
So true! You have to take care of yourself first so your best self can show up for work!
I really enjoy reading your mindful monday posts. Right now I am entering the burn out phase and taking a step back to really re-evaluate . It’s challenging because I never have a consistent schedule and I often feel like I’m all over the place.
Thanks, Julie! Ah, the burnout phase. We’ve all been there. Try not to judge yourself (which is much easier said than done) for getting burnt out and instead take a curious approach – What is the work that gives me life and energy? What is the work which drains my energy? can you get rid of some of the stuff that drains you to make room for the stuff you really love? xo
I tend to over work myself. I work as an RD and have this blog. I have kids and hubby too. I really have to make an effort to not ignore the people of love for work.
It’s so hard to fit it all in, right?! It definitely takes work and effort to find that balance.
It does take a conscious effort – I agree!
I love this! For the most part, I have stopped working weekends as well. I still work full-time outside the home and blog on the side, so my weekdays were full of regular work and weekends were booked with blog work. I had no me time! Now I work around my weekday schedule to fit in some blog time in the evenings to keep my weekends free (as best I can). Only about once a month I take up one Saturday making recipes, since I get home too late to make a recipe and take decent photos for blog posts during the week. I definitely can tell a difference in my mood now when I’m not working all weekend long!
That’s awesome, Brittany! And I think it’s always a work in progress figuring out what schedule is right for you. You’ve got to try different things to fit in those side projects you’re passionate about and once you figure it out, it feels right!
Thanks for sharing your experience! You’re right, there is always work to be done, but happiness and the people you love are always more important than the check lists. Thanks for the reminder!
Amen, Melanie! So true!