Late Saturday night, I was lying in bed, planning all the things I had to do on Sunday. ‘I’ll reply to a bunch of emails,’ I thought, ‘then plot out my editorial calendar for the time I’m away, write some Love Letters, and throw together some Blogcademy copy. Sounds good.’
Then I went back to browsing, and started reading about the concept of the not-to-do list. Fascinating! I love a good productivity rule, especially when it involves the use of the word “No”. I did some googling and stumbled upon an article by — who else? — Tim Ferriss.
From his article, The Not-To-Do List: 9 Habits To Stop Now…
Do not expect work to fill a void that non-work relationships and activities should.
Work is not all of life. Your co-workers shouldn’t be your only friends. Schedule life and defend it just as you would an important business meeting. Never tell yourself “I’ll just get it done this weekend.” Review Parkinson’s Law in 4HWW and force yourself to cram within tight hours so your per-hour productivity doesn’t fall through the floor. Focus, get the critical few done, and get out. E-mailing all weekend is no way to spend the little time you have on this planet.
It was like being hit with a lightning bolt: exactly what I needed to hear, at the very moment I needed to hear it. How did Tim know that I was, indeed, planning on answering a whole lot of emails on Sunday? As I read his words, I realised that letting my work bleed over into my weekend isn’t conscientious, it’s lazy. I slack off during the week, procrastinating and mucking around, and then end up working through the weekend. That is not cool!
I also woke up to the fact that my inbox is always going to be full. Always. There are always going to be emails that need to be answered, begging for my attention. There will always be blog posts to write, administrative tasks to tend to. But none of them are urgent. They can all wait. Why waste a beautiful Sunday tap-tap-tapping away?
So on Sunday morning, I woke up and made a pledge not to work. I walked the dogs, fed them, showered and put on a big hat. I slurped down a delicious chocolate almond milk smoothie, got a massage, and took photos of peonies. I went to Buffalo Exchange and scored a brand spanking new pair of Acne Cypress boots (in an amazing bordeaux colour) for a song. I walked home, where Dolly and I took some photos and napped. I Skyped with my babe Jess, laid around watching episodes of The Millionaire Matchmaker, and cleaned the house.
By the end of the day, I felt rested, relaxed, and happy, and most importantly, I wasn’t in “work mode”. (I practically live in “work mode”.)
Needless to say, it was fantastic: exactly what the doctor ordered. And it inspired me to actually start enjoying my weekends. (Not a radical concept to most, I know, but for the self-employed, it’s sometimes easier said than done!) Oh, and for those of you who may be wondering how it affected my productivity, I got more done on Monday than I had in a long time.
Yay, weekends! Can we make Sunday Funday a rule already?! Now, ‘fess up: do you enjoy your weekends, or do you allow your work to bleed over?
Photograph by Sara Melotti.