How to avoid working away the weekend (sponsored post)

We’re all familiar with the song “Working for the Weekend.” But a recent survey by Enterprise Rent-A-Car makes it seem like more people are unfortunately working away the weekend, rather than working for it!

They surveyed over 1,000 adults in the US, and I think it will surprise few in the working world that most of the survey respondents said they work at least one full weekend day per month. Even for those who aren’t outright working, they are still regularly checking and responding to email. I know personally I may not work one full day but over an entire month I absolutely work at least nine weekend hours.

One of the findings that surprised and frustrated me is that 63% of respondents said their employers actually expect them to work over the weekend. Makes me feel lucky that my boss respects my time off!

Another interesting finding: 45% of men feel they spend their weekends pursuing their hobbies and passions vs. 20% of women. I’m not sure what to do with that information, but it seems indicative of….something.

The question is: how do we get the most out of our weekends? How can we make the best use of the limited time we have?

Screen detox. What if you could disengage from the smartphone for one day per weekend, and be fully present? As a business traveler I already feel guilt about being away from my family so much. One way to make the time we spend together better is for me to close my computer and turn off my phone. It’s so fun to explore outside, go on walks, play games, and just be with my kids with minimal external (work related) distractions.

Put away your suitcase. Even though it’s not as convenient, I make an effort to put my suitcase away between trips. When I’m in the middle of crazy travel season it’s super tempting to just leave it by the laundry room. I mean, I’m just going to throw everything into the washer and then put it directly from the dryer back into my suitcase. But the unfortunate side effect is that I see the suitcase all weekend, and it keeps my upcoming travel at the forefront of my mind. Worst of all: it’s a constant reminder to the Home Warrior and the kiddos that I’m about to leave again. Putting it away is better for all of us!

Get out of town. For some reason, the Home Warrior and I have had some of our deepest, best talks in the car. Sometimes it’s about our hopes and dreams for the future, sometimes it’s planning our kitchen reno, sometimes it’s just as simple as discussing upcoming schedules. But for us, connecting in the car is easier than anywhere else. So when we feel like we need some discussion time, or just a break from all the busy-ness at home, we load up the kids and drive somewhere a few hours away.  When we are lucky enough to go away, just the two of us, we try to leave the minivan at home and rent a car. It’s super easy to go by our neighborhood Enterprise Rent-A-Car on the way out of town to grab a fun little (non-minivan) car. And we have the side benefit of getting out of our rut and doing something fun!

Prep for the following week on Friday. I admit I’m one of those people that starts getting anxious on Sunday (or when I’m really busy, Saturday) night about the work week ahead. Enterprise teamed with author/executive coach/psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert for suggestions on making the most of your weekend. One of his suggestions that really resonated is to prep for the following week on Friday before leaving work. Typically I prep for each week Monday morning, but that means over the weekend I will occasionally (or frequently) obsess over some small detail, concerned that I will forget it before Monday morning.  From now on I’m going to try to plan on Friday before rushing out the door to the weekend. Even just a few minutes jotting down my to-do list will help!

A few of his other tips:

  • Don’t sleep away the weekend. If you sleep too late you can feel sluggish and like your time is gone. Go for power naps instead.
  • Try to balance scheduled activities with time to go with the flow.
  • Reframe your thinking from “I’m so busy!” to “I’ll make good use of the time I have.”

Check out the full survey results here.

Readers, do you find yourself working over the weekend? How do you focus on your life, rather than work, during your precious time off?

This post was sponsored by Enterprise Rent-A-Car. All opinions are Road Warriorette’s own.

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