How to Use the Weekend to Set Yourself Up for a Successful Week

Are you one of those people who has a bad case of the Mondays? Every Monday? Do you sing song lyrics like, “It’s just another Manic Monday,” or “But whenever Monday comes you can find me cryin’ all the time,” on your commute into the office at the beginning of the week? Well, you’re definitely not alone. And I think you have two choices here:

  1. Refresh your resume and start looking for another job. Clearly you are not happy or fulfilled in your current position if you are dreading Mondays. (If you need a new career opportunity – we’re always looking for hungry, humble, and people smart individuals. Email to chat! )
  2. Refresh your weekends so that you are setting yourself up for a successful week. If you genuinely enjoy your work and career, you may just need a reboot. Let’s talk about how.

While the seven day week can be traced back 4,000 years to Babylon, the first recorded mention of a weekend wasn’t until 1879. Back then, the weekend was a 1/2 day on Saturday and a full-day on Sunday. In 1908, a New England mill was the first American factory to institute the five day work week we know today. A full day of rest on Saturday and Sunday. So, how can you maximize that time in order to have a productive week?

Here are five things I recommend you do every weekend in order to rest, recover, and prepare yourself for a week of minimal stress and maximum results:

  1. FAMILY MEETING —> Whether your family includes yourself, your in-laws, and your five children or it’s just you and your partner, schedule a weekly family meeting for 30 minutes to an hour every week. This is the perfect time to connect to discuss the week ahead – who’s picking up the kids, what late meetings you might have, are there any dinners with friends or special events? Syncing up your calendars is a must. It’s also a good time to talk about any upcoming household items that need to be taken care of (like a new landscaping company or scheduling a handyman for repairs). Don’t forget to get on the same page with finances. Are there any big purchases coming up? Perhaps you want to aggressively pay down some debt. Discuss and make a plan and then check in weekly during your family meeting so that you actually make progress on these goals. Involve the kids as soon as they are old enough. Start them young learning about financial management and time management and they will be ahead of 95% of the adult population. Have fun! Grab your favorite coffee and get down to business. If you schedule these conversations weekly, you will significantly cut down on the mundane, uninspiring conversations with your partner and family and have much more time for deeper and meaningful interactions.
  2. SCHEDULE WORKOUTS —> You all know how important fitness is in my life. #fitnessfirst Exercise has such a huge impact on all areas of your life – mental clarity, focus, energy,  health, nutrition choices. Exercise truly leaks into all areas of your life. Use workouts as tool to be a better leader, partner, friend. Take the time to plan your workouts on the weekends. Yes, put the workouts in your calendar, but don’t forget to actually plan out what you are going to be doing during the allotted times so that you’re just not aimlessly taking selfies in the gym mirror. Have a plan and then execute. Better yet, get a trainer or coach who will tell you exactly what to do during your workout time. #leverage
  3. MEAL PLAN AND PREP —> Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand. To be the best version of you – you have to take care of  yourself first. That starts on the weekend. Yes, it can be time consuming, but the investment of time on the weekends planning out your meals, prepping protein and cutting up veggies, and portioning out snacks will save you a ton of time during the week. And it will help you reach your health goals. You can save even more time by using a meal prep service, getting your groceries delivered, or ordering your groceries online for pick up. As the great Ben Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
  4. WEEKLY GOALS —> Regardless of what system you use (BestSelf Journal, basic planner, Gmail Tasks, 411, etc.) make sure you are strategically looking at what you need to accomplish during the week ahead to get you closer to your monthly and annual goals. What you do this week will either move you forward or backwards. Make every day count. Focus on the revenue generating activities that will move you and your business forward. Identify the 3-5 big things you need to accomplish and then make sure you block time into your calendar during the week to work on them. If it is not scheduled, it’s not real. Once it’s in your calendar, as long as you honor your commitment to yourself and do the “big thing” when it’s schedule in your calendar your results will be inevitable.
  5. UNPLUG —> One of the most important things you can do is unplug! Take time to rest and recover, whatever that looks like for you – hiking, skiing with the family, spa time, or reading a good book at home. You can’t be effective and productive if you are “on” all the time. Now, just like unplugging looks different for different people, the amount of time needed to unplug varies. Some people need an entire 48 hours with no work emails, others just need a couple “non-work” hours each day. Do what works for you, but honor that time. If you’re unplugged be unplugged and present in whatever moment you are in. Recharge and get ready for a kick ass week ahead!

Those are five basic principles I encourage my team to utilize on the weekends. If you want to take it a step further, here are three additional tactics I use on Sunday nights to make the shift from weekends to the work week.

  1. Do a detailed review of your calendar based on your current company objectives and shifting priorities. Add or cancel meetings as necessary. For example, you may need to postpone an interview for a new Controller if you have a development deal that needs to be renegotiated at the eleventh hour.
  2. Email your leadership team or your direct reports any ideas you had over the weekend you would like them to explore or take action on, questions, and any new directives for the week. The weekends offer great time to reflect and gain clarity, so you may be shifting course the following week. Make sure you communicate that to you team.
  3. Check your energy and alignment. This is all about mental and emotionally preparing to bring your best self into the office on Monday. Is there anything bothering you that you need to work through? Do it. Maybe that means doing an extra meditation session, an intense workout, journaling, or calling a trusted mentor. Make sure you are ready to show up and do work on Monday.

I’ve been following the above routine for years. For me, the weekend is a great mix of time with the family, time to read and think about my business, getting in a long Ironman training day, having great conversations with my wife, and getting organized and ready to crush the week ahead. If you do this every week, you will have a competitive advantage over the majority of the population. Having the discipline to have a purposeful and productive weekend sets you up for massive success. Not everyone is willing to do these things. But discipline equals freedom. And isn’t that what we’re all after?

How do you relax and recharge? What do you do to prepare for the week ahead?

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