Entrepreneurs think differently. We experiment. We push the limits. That’s how we succeed and exceed even our own expectations – by bucking the status quo.
Since most entrepreneurs think differently, what I’m about to suggest shouldn’t be totally outside the realm of possibility, right?
Here goes: We give a lot of lip service to work-life balance. As individuals, and also as society as a whole, we focus on making weekends and holidays for relaxing, playing and doing anything BUT work.
But what if you used those days differently? What if you dropped the balance cliché and aimed for something bigger?
If you approach your “off” days with the right mindset, you can turn them into times of major productivity. Here are a few reasons why entrepreneurs should work on their days off:
You’ll get a leg up on the competition
Most everyone takes a break and stops working and weekends and holidays. You could use those days to rest, spend time with your family and get away from work – and you should get away from work once in a while.
But you could also use that time to get ahead, to work on big projects or new plans. Why? Because if everyone else is resting and you’re plowing ahead on projects, you’re giving yourself a leg up on the competition.
This is especially important if you’re trying to get a business off the ground while working a full-time job. The only way you’ll ever make it happen is if you’re willing to put some of your off hours into your project.
But. To properly utilize what I like to call “leg-up” hours, you have to be in the right frame of mind. If you begrudge working while everyone else is eating, relaxing or watching movies, you probably won’t get much done.
You can work on fun projects guilt-free
To ensure I have the right mindset and use my “leg-up” hours strategically, I like to spend these designated days off only doing fun projects. I don’t bother trying to get ahead on work that doesn’t make me excited; instead, I’ll make headway on an upcoming course or pump out an awesome blog post or write pieces of my next book.
In other words, I’ll only do work that doesn’t feel like work.
Doing work that doesn’t feel like work has a hidden benefit; it helps move my business in the direction I want it to go. Eventually, I’d like all of the income I bring in to be based on projects that don’t feel like work. So putting extra time into projects I enjoy the most is not only a little gift to myself, it’s also smart for my business.
You’ll be uber-productive
If you have the right mindset, working on your days off is one of the best times to be productive, especially on Sundays when most people aren’t working. You won’t receive many emails, and even when you do, no one expects you to answer straight-away. So you can work on your fun projects guilt-free, without interruptions or distractions.
Some folks choose to spend Sundays with their kids or out walking in the woods, but plenty of others squander it away by doing a lot of, well, nothing. If you’re doing nothing on purpose, OWN IT! Enjoy that down time. But you might also feel better come Monday if you’ve used part of your weekend to make major progress on your passion project.
You’ll think more freely and discover your best ideas
Working while most people are relaxing is when I discover some of my best ideas. Since I can work on fun projects without feeling distracted, I’m able to think more creatively.
And that’s when those ideas really turn into something awesome – when I’m not weighed down by client projects, when I’m not on deadline, when I have time to experiment. My “off days” are the perfect time to let the creative juices flow.
Do you ever work on weekends? How do you motivate to be productive when everyone else is off?
Alexis Grant is an entrepreneurial writer, digital strategist and author of How I Surpassed My Day Job Income in Just 6 Months of Self-Employment. She also offers a free newsletter.