I am being boss by taking back my weekends.
There is such a myth in our culture of overachievers and entrepreneur-driven business that we need to be on it 24/7. That we need to hustle it out each and every day, to claw our way to success with late nights and early mornings and too much caffeine and not enough sleep.
But recently, I think there is also been a big pushback against this idea.
Newsflash: We are not surgeons.
No one will die if we don’t answer that email the second it reaches us. Buildings will not fall. Bombs will not go off if we don’t send out that quote the second we get off the phone with a potential client.
And if a client doesn’t want to book us because we didn’t respond at 9pm on a Friday night, then maaaaaybe they’re not the right client.
So I am slowly, painfully, and sometimes unsuccessfully, trying to take back my weekends.
Yes, I often ‘just send this one email’ or ‘just get this one thing sent’ before breakfast when I should be taking the time to be present at home. But I have been working to make it a priority not to schedule anything on my weekend days to set myself up for success.
The biggest struggle I’ve been facing with taking back my weekends is that my “weekend” is not a traditional one, for a myriad of factors. I tend to have weddings or events on Saturdays, and John works as a bartender so Friday through Sunday are his biggest work days. So my “weekend” days have become Monday and Tuesday, which are also John’s days off.
And for me, I have found that a huge very important noquestionsasked part of taking a weekend is about taking it with my partner in crime. Because when we don’t have a day or two to be together and enjoy life and go on picnics and bake bread, our relationship feels more strained. And the point of all of this - of all of the time, and the stress, and the effort of work, is so that we can build the life that we want together. And if we can’t enjoy the life we are building as we build it, what is even the point?
But there is a big kick-back when your weekend days aren’t the traditionally prescribed weekend days. I often have to work on Saturdays and Sundays even when there’s not an event to set up, which means I have to turn down a lot of social engagements. And when I am trying to be off the clock on Mondays and Tuesdays, I often feel a lot of pressure from clients or potential clients to respond immediately to emails, or send out proofs or quotes, because they are starting their workweek and want to get shit done. And I totally get that, which is why it’s hard for me to say no.
So I am trying, and some days I am successful and sometimes not. I have found that not checking email is the best way to have a successful weekend (duh), but sometimes I do it unconsciously and then there’s no turning back. I have also found that if we leave the house I am way more likely to not fall back into the habit of doing work, but a great part of a good weekend is sitting around in your PJs all day and binge-watching Netflix, so leaving the house isn’t always part of the agenda.
I think a great tactic to try next will be an email autoresponder that I can set on Sunday afternoon and remove on Wednesday morning, to help people realize that Mondays and Tuesdays are my weekend. If you have an irregular weekend and you have a tactic you use, please let me know what works for you!
This blog post was written as a prompt from Being Boss, which is pretty much the raddest podcast ever. If you don’t listen to it, drop everything and pick up those ear buds!