How to use the weekends to improve your productivity

I don’t normally think much of lists of productivity tips, but I quite liked this list from Quartz: Ten things to do on weekends to make your Monday more productive.

The article starts with the oft-quoted statistic that productivity declines rapidly after more than 55 hours per week:

“The study found that productivity per hour declines sharply when the workweek exceeds 50 hours, and productivity drops off so much after 55 hours that there’s no point in working any more.”

So if you’re not working all through the weekend, how can you use that time to give yourself the biggest productivity boost come Monday?

 Most productivity “hacks” are nonsense, but I found myself agreeing with nearly all of the recommendations on this list. Particularly:

  1. Make time for YOU on the weekend. Do a hobby, learn something new, or just sit back and read a book. I find that time for me is the hardest thing to come by during the week, and I’m someone who needs regular, short breaks of solitude. 
  2. Disconnect. Turn off your phone and laptop, just for a few minutes. 
  3. Plan for the week ahead. This is the one habit that has the biggest impact on my productivity during the week. I like to use Sunday afternoons to do my weekly planning: I look at my annual and quarterly goals and reflect on what I need to do in the coming week to move this forward. I also use it as an opportunity to clear out my emails, slack and to-do lists, so that I go into Monday with a clean slate and a clear plan.

With so few hours in the day, where you spend your time has a huge impact on your overall success, and reactively moving from one thing to the next is the best way to fill lots of time with being busy and not getting much done. Take the time to step back, reflect and plan.

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