Treat your work day like it’s the weekend

201512-weekend-file0001250438927Here’s a quick productivity tip for you: treat your work day like it’s the weekend.

What do I mean? I mean, if it’s a Monday, pretend like you’re working on a Saturday. Why? Two reasons:

  1. It’ll help you prioritize your tasks.
  2. It’ll help you know when a task is complete.

I worked a lot this past weekend. I hadn’t anticipated doing that. I worked at home for about 3 hours on Saturday. Then I went into the office for about 8 hours on Sunday.

That time is valuable to me. It’s the time I get to spend with my wife and my 16 month old son. The three of us don’t spend a ton of time together during the week, given my son’s sleep schedule and my wife’ s and my work schedules. The weekends are our time together.

But the work had to get done. And I have no problem occasionally giving up some time on the weekend to get critical work done. I wouldn’t want to make it a routine, but I understand crunch time will hit every now and again.

The biggest advantage of working on the weekend, for me, is the improved efficiency. I do exactly what needs to get done…not anything more. I prioritize my tasks, such that the mission critical stuff gets done first, then the important “nice to have” items. And that’s it.

During the week, I take a little more time. I might spend some time debating about details. On the weekend, I make a quick decision about details and move right along.

I know it’s hard to pretend that weekdays are like weekends. But think about your tasks. Think about the ways to meet expectations without wasting time or energy on superfluous stuff that only you will notice or care about.

I’m not arguing to cut corners. You want to do good work…work that you can be proud of. Acknowledge what’s critical, and focus on that first. Then add some decoration if you think it’ll make a difference. Then deliver.

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