It's a long weekend and most successful people have planned out (or at least thought about) how they will spend it.
“Successful people recognise how important it is to take advantage of a long weekend to refuel their passions and recharge their batteries,” says Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of You Can't Be Serious! Putting Humour to Work.
They work extra hard in the days leading up to the three-day weekend in order to maximise their leisure time, adds Lynn Taylor, a US workplace expert and the author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyr-ant: How to Manage Childish Boss Beha-viour and Thrive in Your Job. They also compartmentalise any work-related tasks that slip into their three-day weekends, separating them from their coveted leisure time. “They know that if the two blend into each other, they will likely feel cheated afterward,” she says.
Planning ahead for a three-day weekend is important because you don't want to squander the relatively rare opportunity to decompress from the office.
Taylor explains: “These extended weekends are different from the regular weekend because you know you have extra time to relax, tie up loose ends personally, catch up with important people in your life, or get ahead on a project. And time is a non-renewable resource. How you spend it should be consistent with what you need to accomplish short- and long-term to be content.”
Here are 12 things successful people do over three-day weekends.
1. Prepare at work
“Most of what they do happens before they leave for a long weekend so that they are psychologically free to relax and enjoy it,” Kerr says. This includes saying proper goodbyes to colleagues, cleaning up their office, finishing any pressing tasks, and creating a clear plan of action for when they return on Tuesday morning so they can hit the ground running.
2. Plan ahead
Many successful people plan out their activities for the holiday weekend well in advance so that they are not drawn into the temptation of working, Kerr says.
Taylor adds: “They're strategic enough to have an action plan for the three-day weekend, but flexible enough to tackle any urgent work issues that may arise.”
3. Set technology guidelines
Successful people set email and phone rules for themselves and the people they work with, so that people understand when, if at all, they will be available to respond or pick up.
“This can communicate to employees how critical it is for everyone to take a complete break, and that any and all work can wait,” Kerr explains. “Although employees may assume this, they often need to hear it from their leader to be able to completely relax over a long weekend.”
4. Do a little bit of nothing
“With the breakneck pace of business all week long, many successful people do plan — but sometimes those plans include a little bit of nothing,” Taylor says. “The work week is about deadlines and meetings, so successful people enjoy having a block of time, or a day, to be uncommitted and unscheduled.”
5. Spend time with family and friends
During the week, it's hard to give focused attention to those you care about. “A three-day weekend lets you schedule this critical quality time,” Taylor says.
Many successful people find giving their time to worthy charitable groups or causes to be extremely rewarding.
7. Plan a “staycation”
“Some successful people plan a mini vacation in their own backyard,” Kerr says. “Staycations hold the appeal of still allowing for a complete mental break but without the added stress or planning involved in a trip somewhere away, wherein people run the risk of returning to work more exhausted than when they left.”
Another good option: Taking a short trip to a destination that is only an hour or two away. This is a great way to visit a new place, but doesn't require too much travel or planning.
8. Get outdoors and enjoy nature
A long weekend is the perfect time to get outside and breathe fresh air, especially after being relatively sequestered inside all week, Taylor explains.
Successful people understand how important exercise is to their physical and mental health — so they don't get lazy and skip their workouts over holiday weekends.
10. Engage in an activity that supports their passion
“This is a great time to unwind with your favourite pastime or hobby, whether it's shopping, golfing, socialising, reading, painting, or something else,” Taylor says.
11. Switch days off
Some successful people will take a different day off instead, and go in to work on the vacation day when they have the office to the themselves and can get more work done without being distracted, Kerr explains. “If you have the luxury of being able to do this it can be a double win — participating in personal activities when it's quieter, and getting more work accomplished at the same time.”
12. Think ahead
On the last night of long weekend, many successful people think about the short week ahead and key goals they need to accomplish, Taylor says. And they do this without stressing themselves out.