There are many good ways to invest your weekend beyond the obvious one of resting (which, ironically, is difficult for many leaders).
Working is most certainly NOT on the list. Recent research shows that there are benefits from completely disengaging from our work. All work and no play makes Jack or Jill a dull leader and a dull thinker.
If you are thinking that you must work some on the weekends, I think thou protesteth too much. What is it about your position that requires you to work two extra days when others get it done in five? (And I’m not talking about the occasional necessity to put in a few extra hours.)
So what to do?
- Plan something with family members. My experience is that waiting to see what your spouse and/or kids want to do is a recipe for doing nothing. Pick an activity and schedule it. Make it fun. But make sure it allows you to interact with those you love, not just sit in the same room with them.
- Read some fiction. I spent years reading primarily non-fiction. That is a decision I’ve come to regret. Great fiction (not necessarily bestseller list fiction) can be as educational as any non-fiction and often better as it engages both the emotions and the intellect. I’ve learned a great deal from good fiction and you can, too.
- Go for a long walk. That is easy to do than sitting in a chair and reflecting on your life, and interestingly, it will allow you to do some deep reflecting on your life while you get some exercise.
- Take a nap. Set an alarm and snooze for 15-30 minutes. Otherwise you might sleep too long and mess up your natural sleep rhythms. But a short nap on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon is incredibly refreshing.
- Do something for someone else. It can be a simple as dropping off clothing or books to a homeless shelter, or getting involved with a service organization. Service keeps us from becoming too wrapped up in ourselves.
Many leaders love the structure and focus of the work week. I know I do. But don’t let that negate the many benefits that can be gained from doing good things during the weekend.
I agree, “completely disengaging” from work is critical to success at work. I also agree that “service keeps us from becoming too wrapped up in ourselves.” After all, I believe true leaders are focused on serving others. They are focused on enabling others to succeed and others’ well being. Whether it’s serving at a shelter or spending uninterrupted time with family members, leadership is a way of life that is focused on others.