Oh, how we all long for the weekend. There’s a certain buzz in the air once Wednesday passes by (ergo, we’re over the hump) and in the home stretch of what is known as “The Work Week.”
Well, to some of us anyway.
There are, however, those who work hard and play…er…occasionally. The cubicle is not necessarily everyone’s work environment, nor is a 9 to 5 schedule everyone’s to adhere to. Schedules can be static or fluctuate, often depending on the type of work but there is also the likelihood that it is the person themselves that dictates the work day—and work habits.
Everyone needs to take—and make—time where work yields to fun and frolic (or, in my case, football). There’s several reasons that we all have to do this consistently—I like to refer to them as The Four RE’s.
(I’d have called them “R’s” but I believe those “R” spoken for.)
While you can do them in varying order throughout your “weekend” it is important to note that if you’re new to the idea and practice of adding value to it, you should start by implementing them in the following manner until you’re well-rehearsed:
You’ve had a long week; face it, five days is a long haul no matter the work involved. You need to spend a little time relaxing. What your idea of relaxing is will differ from your co-workers and friends; you may like to garden while one of your colleagues likes to practice bonsai. It doesn’t really matter.
Sleep in if you can or want to; enjoy the morning paper or a book – preferably on paper, but a good…umm…ol’(?) review of your RSS feeds works just as well – or simply take notice of your surroundings while doing very little to nothing at all. Just do it. Relax and you’ll start to add value to your weekend…and be able to better handle the next RE…
With only a couple of days to spare, it’s important to refuel, revitalize and recharge the batteries. I’m not talking about your mobile device batteries (although charging them while leaving it off and out of reach isn’t a bad idea if you can make it happen); I’m talking about your constitution – your inner batteries.
Burnout can easily take hold if you are always “turned on.” What happens when you leave your mobile device on all the time without plugging it in? I don’t want to use the term “it dies” – so I’ll use “it runs out of juice” instead. Both can apply though, depending on how you look at it. Even if you spend some time recharging, you’ll at least be able to get back to work for the upcoming week with ample energy to last. Plus, you’ll have the ability to perform the next RE…
I can’t stress enough the importance of this one. You need to keep tabs on yourself, both at work and at rest. The most opportune time to reflect on your week is when you’re clear enough to do so – and the weekend should provide that clarity. I say “should” in that if you’ve not implemented any of the RE’s leading up to this point, then you’re not in any shape to do this one yet.
It is crucial that you review the past and “preview” the future when you’re not occupied with other matters. Once you’ve finished this process – which generally occurs throughout the weekend with final realization near the end of it – you’ll be on your way to (or immersed in) the fourth RE…
The weekend provides you with a ton of opportunities. In fact, some of your best experiences will happen during your time away from the office – some of which will help you when you’re at the office. But you’ve got to be able to see them and take advantage of them when they present themselves. You’ve got to be REady.
Finding yourself in this state is a process that will happen with practice. With the other RE’s taken care of, this one will enable you to do spontaneous activities during your free time. Your mind won’t be cluttered with things that matter elsewhere but have no foundation in your current place or time. This means being focussed; being prepared; being able to go with the flow. It ultimately means just being the best you can be wherever you are.
The value of your weekend is whatever value you choose to give it. Your weekend may not be everyone else’s – both in terms of days of the week or how you choose to spend it. The value of your weekend may not matter to you so much; but it should. Because how much you value your weekend is a direct reflection of how you value something far more important:
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