Three Day Weekend - Relax or Get Ahead?

I am writing this blog from my Sister's couch in NYC.

Yesterday she and I hit up Comic-Con at the Javits Center for a little while, met up briefly with two of my closest friends, and spent some time bonding with each other. It's important, mainly because she is the only one I know that genuinely laughs at my jokes. This is a required boost to my self esteem. Of course, I give back - attentive listening to many of her adventures, such as her newfound love for Scuba Diving.

But that was Sunday. This is Monday. Not just any Monday, but the Monday of a three-day weekend. So technically - if one followed the convention of the world, I should not be working, right? three day weekends are for enjoying life? Yes? No?

It all depends on where you are in your career. If you're just starting out, you're probably bunrning the midnight oil a lot, and working every chance you get to get ahead. I still do that, although I do admit that I enjoy the fact that I don't need to keep working until 2 am as much anymore. But the ambition is still there - to continue to build out Rockland Web Design to where it should be, a fantastic service for our business to business clients - so sometimes long hours come with the territory. There are still some rules that I adhere to, in order to continue the never-ending march toward greater business success.

One such rule that I have is to ALWAYS work on the Monday of a three-day weekend. I don't care if it's sitting in a disheveled hotel room in Guam, taking a phone call from a potential client in the middle of the day, or ducking into Starbucks to write a contract; Mondays will always involve some level of work.

The reason actually has little to do with Monday - it's really about Tuesday. While everyone else that took their full three days will likely take some time to get into the swing of things, I'm already ahead of the game, and gaining momentum. The team - although they typically take the Monday off (and I'm happy to say yes to this) has their list of things to do for the week, and the company is running like there was no break in the action.

There is something to be said about taking the full three days. Sometimes you need it, especially if you've been burning the midnight oil. There's also something to be said about working on Mondays. To find a middle ground solution, I offer the following suggestions, if you want the momentum, but also need to enjoy the Monday off:

  1. Wake up on time, as if you were going to work. Don't deviate from this, because your body expects certain things for Monday Mornings. If you break this rule, you will regret it on Tuesday. Trust me.
  2. Take extra time for your typical morning routine. Let the coffee and breakfast time linger a little longer. Talk with your loved ones or your friends. Read a book of wisdom, watch a favorite TV show, or just spend time in silence or prayer. 
  3. Travel lightly, slowly, and differently. If you can, don't take your full gear with you to work. Just take the basics, so that you don't get caught in the trap of doing too much. Remember, this can technically be your day off, and you don't want to force a full day of work, or you will resent yourself. Also - if you can, consider doing your work from a different location, just to mix it up. This will give you the feeling of variety that your body craves.
  4. Work on your business, not in your business. Mondays of a three-day Holiday are perfect for planning and strategizing. Usually it is a little less noisy and busy. You can really think through some deeper issues of your company, and plan strategically for the future.
  5. Don't work the full day. As mentioned above, this is technically your day off, so if you work 10 hours normally, only work 5. That way, you get some work done, and once you are in full mode for the workweek, got some productive useful stuff done for your company, and are ready for Tuesday - stop, close up shop, and go watch a movie with a loved one.

If you structure your Monday of a three day weekend correctly, you will not only keep the momentum for the rest of the week, you will remain comfortable with yourself, giving both credence to your goals and objectives, as well as time for yourself. Both are important. With a little bit of compromise, you can have them.


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