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Working on Weekends – a necessity or counter-productive?

By November 19, 2021No Comments

Two common points of view about working on weekends are that:

It’s a Necessity
1) You have to work weekends, grind and hustle all day, every day to be successful

or

It’s Counter-Productive
2) Working weekends is totally counter-productive and you’ll end up burning out and wasting your time doing it

Reality

From chatting to and observing many entrepreneurs, there are definitely real-life examples of both types of people.

Those who really do work every day of the week and many entrepreneurs who completely abstain from working weekends for work-life balance purposes.

However the vast majority of entrepreneurs I meet tend to fall somewhere in the middle. This means that they often do a few hours on the weekends, typically in a somewhat relaxed manner.

Why work on weekends?

Why do many entrepreneurs work weekends?

The most common reasons why entrepreneurs work on weekends are:

Work Overspill

Tasks overspill onto the weekend due to heightened demand for their product/service during busy periods.

Turning down business is never easy to do.  Entrepreneurs will always be uncertain about future demand for their product/service – so doing a little bit of extra work on the weekend while there is demand is very common.

Planning Ahead and Easing Anxiety

Doing a few hours on the weekend is a good chance to take the pressure off the upcoming week, plan ahead and ease anxiety overall.

It’s nice going to bed on a Sunday knowing that your upcoming week is well-planned and your ahead of the game.

Doing this takes the pressure off Mondays too, and makes them more enjoyable.

Enjoyable

Working on weekends is usually quite low-pressured and enjoyable.

Most entrepreneurs do work which they quite enjoy too – this makes it more tempting to do extra work on weekends.

Exploratory

Working on weekends gives you a chance to work on stuff outside of the regular demands of your business.

It’s typically more proactive than reactive.

Boredom

Some people even find the weekend a little bit long without doing a few hours work.

If you enjoy working on your business, it can (sometimes!) be more enticing than watching a Netflix series.

Why take weekends completely off?

There are so many compelling reasons to take weekends completely off too.

Most entrepreneurs who I chat to take weekends completely off when:
1) they need to switch off and simply restore their mental energy
2) they have young kids to spend time with
3) they have good social occasions to go to which trump doing work
4) they have become a bit bored of their business. This can even happen when business is going well. It’s totally normal and usually passes.

Personal Experience and Pitfalls to Avoid

Having done a bit of work on weekends consistently for the last 6 years, it’s only in the last year that I feel I have struck a sustainable balance.

This involves taking Saturday’s completely off, and then doing between 3 – 4 hours on a Sunday.

Having Saturday’s completely off allows me to detach and re-energise.

A pitfall to avoid while working on weekends:
I used to let the thoughts of doing work hang over me all weekend. Meaning that I wasn’t 100% present at social occasions or even in my relaxation time.

Now, rather than vaguely promising myself that I will work over the weekend – I have a dedicated time on Sunday morning to do it. This simplifies things and allows me to be more present with family and friends outside of that time.

Conclusion

The longer I have been in business, the more obvious it becomes that it’s important to enjoy running your business.

The more enjoyable and beneficial to your lifestyle that your business is, the more likely you’ll stick with it and build a great business over the long-term.

So when it comes to working on weekends, don’t feel limited to either the extreme of working all weekend or not working at all on weekends. Do what works for you and ultimately makes your life more enjoyable.

As always, thank you for reading!

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Gary Melican

Gary Melican

Gary is a web designer and developer, UX Design lecturer and business strategist based in Dublin, Ireland. Feel free to get in touch and chat about your next idea or improving your existing business.

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