Weekends have an almost mythical place in the lives of the working man or woman. Those two days hold so much promise.
In those approximate 48 hours, you can accomplish anything: partying, relaxing, sleeping, reading, running errands and so much more. The opportunity to finally achieve something the workweek has prevented is a priceless gift.
Whether or not you actually cross anything off of that to-do list is another story. Blame it on years of schooling that taught you to behave all week and maybe you can go to your friend’s birthday party or the movies on Saturday.
Put aside your notion of the weekends as the only reason to wake up on Monday mornings and you’ll see that working on Saturday and Sunday can actually be good for you. You just have to change the way you think.
At your convenience
Part of the beauty of the weekend is that you don’t have to worry about someone else taking up your time. On a Tuesday, for example, everyone else is working, which means they’re probably coming to you with problems or trying to schedule face time with you. A weekend workday lets you get things done on your own terms without interruptions.
Reduce weekday stress
Although you’re used to seeing the weekends as a two-day detox from work, Saturday and Sunday can lower your stress level during the week. As much as we’d like to think everyone’s schedules revolve around our own, we know from experience that’s not true. Personal obligations, such as your spouse’s office party, your child’s school play, a night at the opera or even a happy hour that goes overtime, can interfere with productivity Monday through Friday.
If you’re able and willing to work on the weekend, you can handle weekday disruptions without panicking. If you have a project due in a week, then any time you lose today working on it can be made up later. Tell yourself that what’s not finished today can be taken care of on time and you’ll be fine.
Weekend work can bring you extra money in two different ways. First, if you have a job where overtime pay applies to Saturday and Sunday shifts, you’re earning more money than you would in a regular workday.
Another way to fatten your wallet is to take an extra job. If your weekday job isn’t the kind of position that needs weekend work, you can find a part-time job to fill that extra time. You’ll not only make more money, but you’ll also add skills and experience to your résumé.
Learn time management
For some workers, going into the office or working from home on a Saturday morning isn’t an inconvenience because they don’t let it dominate the day. If you want to squeeze in a few extra hours of work or want to get ahead for the next week, you can use some of your weekend without sacrificing it all. For example, get up early on Saturday and block off a few hours so that you know you need to be done by noon so you can go to a movie or to watch your child’s soccer game.
When you know that getting distracted from your work will result in less time for yourself or your family, you’re more likely to work hard. You might realize that those few early morning hours on the weekend are more productive than a full workday.
A better reputation
A good balance between your job and personal life is a must, so you don’t want to talk yourself into working seven days a week without a break just to be known as the office workaholic. However, if you’re willing to give up a little bit of your time once in a while — maybe one Saturday a month or a few hours of your Sunday every few months — in order to finish a project or lend a hand to the boss, your efforts will be recognized.
If your job isn’t a 9-to-5 position and you work evenings or only certain days, your co-workers might ask you to cover their shifts once in a while. Although you might always have the weekends off and be tempted to tell them no, picking up weekend work gives you the extra money mentioned above, and it also shows you’re a team player. Plus, you could find out that you prefer working on the weekends and being off during the week so that you can enjoy your time off while everyone else is toiling away at their jobs.
Try these suggestions
If you’re 100 percent sure you love your job, but still want to flip a table at the mere idea of weekend work, try these suggestions.
- Re-Assess Your Priorities. You want to earn tons of money, but you also want to have a life outside of work. Which one do you really want, and which are you willing to give up? In an ideal world, you can have both. But since that’s not the case, your next best option is to accept that you have to trade (at least part of) one for the other.
- Consider Your Reasons. Why do you want to work on a weekend? Is it because everyone else in your office/clique/city does? Is it because there’s no other way for you to make ends meet? Digging deep into your reasons can put things in perspective and shed light on why you feel the way you do about weekend work.
- Set Your Limits. Now that you know what you want, it’s time to ask the important questions. Are you going to wage a personal “No Weekend Work” campaign from now on? Perhaps you’re willing to take on lighter tasks on Saturdays and Sundays, as long as you still have time for Netflix Hour. Be specific about what you are willing to do (and not do), and inform your boss about these limits politely and firmly.
- Work Smarter, Not Harder. If you still have work at the end of every 40-hour week, think about ways to be more efficient without sacrificing quality. Use productivity apps to free up your time. Delegate tasks to co-workers who don’t seem busy. Schedule your To-Dos at least a week before you’ll actually do them.
- Re-Distribute Your Tasks. You don’t have to finish everything in one go. If you can break down your tasks and finish them one chunk at a time throughout the week, it would really lighten your load. You can also do the same for household chores and the like, so you don’t get overwhelmed when you get home.
- Give Your New Schedule Time to Sink In. Contrary to the old “21 days” assumption, habits can actually take between 18 to 254 days to form. Don’t beat yourself up if you answered an email on Saturday when you’re not supposed to. Give it time.