How to Make the Most of Your Work Week (Hint: what you do on the weekend matters)

Sometimes weekends are boring. We may feel tired from the work week or just simply not know what to do with our time, wanting to make the most of our precious two days off. And other times, weekends are jammed packed with kids’ events, family obligations, social gatherings, and general errands that can eat up all of our time, leaving us to feel rushed, stressed, and frantic come Monday morning.

In both scenarios, when Monday comes, we feel ill-prepared. We can either be so overloaded from the weekend without being able to properly rest or stop moving for one second, that we are now burning out before work has even begun. On the more boring weekends where we aimlessly watch TV, sleep for hours, and just sit around, we can feel as though our weekend was wasted and have a hard time getting ourselves out of that mental rut and switching gears into work mode.

To feel both rested and ready for our work week ahead, it’s important to spend our weekends truly disconnecting from anything task related and fill our days instead with rejuvenating activities. If we practice the art of relaxing on the weekends (not TV watching, not going out with friends late at night), we can reap the benefits of a more productive work week, as well as have a more enjoyable weekend. Smart, happy people know how to do just this. They know the value of a truly rejuvenating weekend and how the benefits carry into their week ahead.

To get more from your work week while truly enjoying your weekend time, here are 9 things you can do this upcoming weekend and future weekends to come!


Exercising will always be a recommend way to spend time. Not only is it necessary to maintain proper functioning of our bodies and minds, but it allows us to release endorphins, giving us that relaxed feelings, as well as clear our minds. Low impact exercises such as yoga, hiking, walking, biking, or swimming allows for a slower pace to reflect and be mindful of our movements, but any activity is good activity!

Spend Quality Time with Family

Time with our loved ones can create a sense of calm and peace when we choose to spend that time doing things we love as a family. This can be anything as simple as petting your cat and watching her play to taking the family on a walk at a nearby park. Not only does the time together strengthen the bond between your family (strong relationships are an indicator of happiness) but the playfulness can release some stress – the perfect combination for a disconnecting weekend.

Take Some Time to Reflect

Through journaling, writing, or simply sitting quietly in your own thoughts is a great way to spend time reflecting on your work week and on other areas of your life. By intentionally asking ourselves questions we increase our self-awareness and can gain a clear picture on what we may need or want to change in our lives. Not everything needs changing and this can also help us practice gratitude and reflect on things that we are grateful for in our lives, no matter how big or small.

Minimize Tasks and Errands

Because we deplete so much mental energy during the work week, it can be extremely beneficial to leave the work week for any other errands or tasks that need to be done such as grocery shopping, cleaning, dog washing, laundry pickup, and the like. If you can, pencil in these types of errands and tasks into your weeknights or for convenience, outsource some of these for low-cost by using an app like TaskRabbit (hire local people to complete errands for you). It’s amazing how much better we can feel waking up on a Saturday knowing we don’t have to get right out of bed to start taking care of things.

Go on A Mini Adventure

Go for a day-hike, book an afternoon at the spa, travel to a nearby city you have never been to, go to a concert in the park. Do this with your family, with your partner, by yourself – it doesn’t matter – the benefits are in the doing something different and new. It opens our senses, creates curiosity, excitement, and a sense of wonder that fills us up with good feelings. Call them what you’d like, but these mini-trips or day-cations work wonders for our psyche and mental health.

Pursue a Passion

You know those hobbies you loved years ago and started sort of doing recently but have been “too busy” to really devote time to? Well, the weekends are the best time to unleash your inner musician, artist, chef, sew-maker, woodsmith, photographer – you name it. Dedicate part of your weekend days to these things that bring you absolute joy and enjoy fully with no interruptions.

Have a Little ‘Me’ Time

This may seem redundant to the above passion pursing or even reflecting, but make no mistake – “Me Time” can be different. Studies have found that “Me Time” works best first thing in the morning, while your body is waking up and your mind is clear. This time essentially helps you start your day slowly and more mindfully, giving you a great sense of calm to begin your day with. What you do with this time doesn’t necessarily matter, but many have found more simpler activities such as writing, reading, enjoying 30 mins for a cup of coffee, meditating, taking a bath, sitting outside, listening to calming music, and the like have worked best.

Stick to Your Routines (even on the weekend)

This one is important. Waking up at the same time each day and going to bed at the same time each day, keeps us feeling grounded and rested – both of which are essential to maximum rejuvenating benefits. While the weekends should be spent intentionally relaxing, it doesn’t mean lose all sense of time and stay up into the wee hours of the night or sleep in until noon. By sticking to a few basic routines that you have all week long, it keeps us in our rhythm, making our transition from weekend to week, seamless.

Disconnect (even for part of a day or 1 day)

Sunday usually works best for this. It’s easier to power off our devices and disconnect from technology on Sundays. But, you can choose whichever day or part of a day that works best for you. Even if it’s for a few hours, staying off our phones, our laptops, and screens in general gives our eyes and minds a much needed break. There are so many other ways to find inspiration, so many other projects to work on, and so many other things to do; there is no need for us to spend so much time connected to everyone and everything, which can actually create additional stress for us.

Set your weekends with intention. By using our weekend days to fully recover and relax from the work week we are doing good things for our bodies and minds. The art of relaxing on the weekends and truly disconnecting creates an environment in which we can relax and feel whole, allowing us to welcome the work week ahead.

Relaxing doesn’t come so easily to people because we are shown that we need to constantly be working on something or be involved in something to get ahead or prove ourselves. By working past those feelings and allowing ourselves time to rest on the weekends we can be the best versions of ourselves and improve our overall productivity and happiness at work during the week.

Photo: Pixaby

Do You Have to be Friends with Your Coworkers?

It can be difficult to know how to navigate workplace relationships. We all put too much emphasis on the need to be friends with our coworkers, but it’s not for everyone. Some psychologists would actually argue against having true friends in the workplace, aside from maybe a few people whom you would likely be friends with outside of work if you didn’t work there. Why is this? 

Having friends at work can have many downsides, the biggest one being a significant decrease in productivity.

One of the top sources of distractions in the workplace is from having coworkers in close proximity. Layer in being friends with these coworkers and that can be disastrous to your work efficiency and productivity.  Close friends will want to catch up on personal and work gossip and that tends to take priority over deadlines or getting work done. This can be especially difficult in an open workplace environment where you share work space.

In order to make progress in the workplace, there is a need to have disagreements. It’s important that coworkers bring different viewpoints to the table and are able to have a healthy dialogue of opinions and innovative solutions. When there are nothing but close friends having this conversation it’s likely that everyone shares a similar mindset, which kills creativity. And when there happens to be a difference of opinions, people will without a doubt take work disagreements personally and then likely gossip about it later. Moreover, friends are not able to confront issues head on, because they are afraid of offending the other person or upsetting them. This all spells workplace disaster.

So, if you’re wondering if you have to be friends with your coworkers, the answer is No. Sure, there is a need to be accountable, communicate effectively, and be sincere, but it never has to cross the line into a true friendship. In fact, by being these things, but no true friends, you are able to separate your personal life from your professional life. This way small things like someone’s coldness or attitude can be ignored or looked past, but tangible work problems like not getting a task done or not answering an email, cannot.

There is a need to be accountable, communicate effectively, and be sincere, but it never has to cross the line into a true friendship.

Being emotionally removed from your coworkers makes it that much easier for you to put your best career interests first. If there is a tangible work problem that is affecting your work, you’re able to take action to resolve that without being too emotionally invested in the situation or feeling uncomfortable. It allows you to see the workplace exactly what it is meant to be, which is a workplace. And if and when you want to move on to new exciting opportunities, you won’t have to consider how your friends will feel if you leave. There will be no internal workplace influences over your decision making.

It’s also really nice to leave work at work and leave home at home. In many close friendships that are formed at work, chatting about work outside of work and chatting about personal life at work, is inevitable. There is typically no clear set of boundaries when you both share the common ground of work, so those conversations always creep up in your time away from work. This can make you feel as though you never truly get a break from work.

Not having close friends at work also allows you to form healthy professional relationships. Have you ever been in a situation where you may be senior to your coworkers, but because you have close friendships with them, they likely don’t see you or treat you as a senior? The days are filled with them making jokes, gossiping about workplace issues, or trying to just socialize or plan for outside of work events with you – which would otherwise be unacceptable workplace behavior with someone who is their senior. It would then be hard for you to keep that line of professionalism and authority with the team because they know too much about you personally, or because they feel you are one of them.

Coworkers may mean well when they try and pull you into the latest gossip or ask probing questions about your life, but it may not be appropriate or welcomed. Think about if workplace friendships are right for you and if you decide they are not, there are ways you can keep your relationships friendly and professional, without needing to be invested into a true friendship. And even if right now you are a little more close to your coworkers than you’d like, you can change it without coming across as rude or anti-social. By working to set some healthy boundaries for your workplace relationships, you can free your time and your mind to do what you’re there to do, which is work.