Sometimes you have a week of 5 Mondays and it seems a half of Saturday – here are some tips to make the most of your weekend and be ready for the next round of Mondays

Most people work 5 days then have a weekend – for some it is Saturday/Sunday for others it is more flexible. But what should be flexible is going to your mind and body a break so you can head back to work refreshed and energized. The better you are at relaxing and resting, the better you will be at working. Downtime is essential for increasing attention, boosting mood, unlocking creativity, and solving problems. It’s also necessary for improving learning and memory and restoring mental health at work.

A Stanford study demonstrates that over working has clear limitations, with employees showing a sharp decline in productivity when they clocked in more than 50 hours per week. People in the study who worked more than 70 hours per week managed to get the same amount of work done than people who worked 55 hours per week. Where does all of that time go?

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Studies like these highlight how important is to have time for yourself, where you can reflect, think, rest and do things that bring you pleasure. Downtime can significantly improve mental and physical health and personal relationships. One study, for example, found employees who unplugged and took time off reduced serious health issues like coronary heart disease.

Disconnect from work

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It’s important to remove yourself from work over the weekend, digitally and physically, so that you feel that you had some days off and were able to rest. This is easier said than done, especially if you need to get work done over the weekend. What you can do is make a weekend work schedule that allows you to check emails and make calls without the time you’d spend doing other more pleasant things.

Minimize your chores

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Chores tend to pile up over the week, resulting in weekends where all you manage to do is clean up and fix stuff around your apartment. To avoid this, try scheduling your chores throughout the week, making them a part of your day to day routine and giving you more time to relax over the weekend.  Laundry can be done in small amount rather than a chunk of a Saturday afternoon.

Work out

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Finding the time to exercise is taxing, especially on week days where you have to work and get other things done. Weekends are perfect for clocking in your workouts, giving you tons of time of fit in exercises that feel motivational and much less like chores.

Do something you’re passionate about

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Find time to do something you enjoy, be that drawing, writing, reading, or something else that makes you think and also makes you happy. By doing this activity on the weekend you’ll reap even more benefits because you’ll feel like you’re actually doing something instead of passing the time.

Try to wake up at the same time

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This is kind of hard but it works if you’re the type of person who has a hard time easing yourself back into the week. Inconsistent wake up times over the weekend disturb your circadian rhythms, resulting in you feeling very tired and groggy despite the fact that you slept more than you do regularly. This uncomfortable feeling can also seep into your Mondays and throw the rest of your week off balance.

Use your mornings as your “me time”

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Your mind achieves peak performance two to four hours after you wake up, resulting in really gratifying morning activities where you’ll get to have better workouts and enjoy whatever it is that you’re doing.

Prepare for the week

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By planning some of your work ahead of time, your weeks will be much more productive. You’ll  skip the entire “set up” stage of your Mondays, jumping right into your work and making your week feel much more pleasant and easy going.

Resting during the weekend gives your body and mind a chance to recharge and recover from the stresses of the week. This can help you feel more energized and productive when you return to work on Monday. When you’re tired and overworked, it’s easy to become irritable and short-tempered but fully rested improves your mood and outlook.

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