By Nisa Chitakasem, founder of Position Ignition
Isn’t it funny how a weekend feels like two minutes instead of two days but a working week can feel like five years instead of five days? If you spend your week longing for 5 pm on Friday, try these tips to make the most of your week – and make it go faster – instead of just wishing your life away.
It’s easy to find yourself on Friday afternoon with no real plan for the weekend. And, as a result, it’s easy to spend the weekend not doing very much except for worrying about the working week ahead. Come Monday morning, can you even remember the weekend at all?. Planning your weekend to include fun activities and catch up with friends and family, gives yourself something to look forward to throughout the week and also ensures you return to the office on Monday refreshed and energised for the week ahead.
Get off to a good start
Your morning often sets the tone for the day. If you get out of bed on the “wrong side”, your day probably won’t be that great and will seemingly drag on forever. Start your morning as you mean to go on by blasting out your favourite music as you get ready or making a colourful fruit smoothie for breakfast.
Make the most of your evenings
If your evenings are spent flopped on the sofa watching TV, it can feel like your week is just one long work day. Break up the week by doing something different each evening that will take your mind off work and help you relax. It doesn’t have to be a late night out – why not catch a movie straight after work one day and go for a calming massage the next?
Cut down on coffee
Too much caffeine during the day can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep and lead to headaches. Limit yourself to one or two cups of coffee a day, ideally drinking them before lunchtime. If you can cut out caffeine completely, even better. Replace caffeinated drinks with herbal and fruit teas, hot chocolate and water with a twist of lemon or lime in it.
Do what you love
It’s little wonder that your working week goes so slowly if you don’t enjoy your job. As the saying goes, “time flies when you’re having fun”. You may think you have little choice over what you do, but think again. There’s nothing stopping you from asking your boss if you can shift more of your focus to the kind of tasks you like doing. After all, a happy worker is a more productive worker.
Take a break
Sitting at your desk and working for nine hours straight day-in, day-out is both draining and monotonous. Be sure to break up the working day – always take your lunch break and ideally at one least one break in both the morning and the afternoon. Try to get away from your computer during these breaks. Even better, get a change of scenery and some fresh air by walking round the block.
A week-long crash diet may sound like a good idea after a big weekend blow-out but quick-fix, fad diets can leave you feeling hungry. When you’re hungry, time definitely moves more slowly. If you want to lose weight, eat less sugary and fatty foods and introduce healthier options into your diet instead of just cutting out food altogether. Exercising regularly will also help you to drop the pounds without starving yourself.
Set weekly challenges
Keep things fresh and interesting from week to week – aim to learn about something new or to get involved in something different. Developing and growing on a personal and professional level can stop each working week feeling the same as the week before.
One bonus of being busy is that time passes quickly. If you find yourself clock-watching at work perhaps you don’t have enough to do. If this is the case, offer to help colleagues with their work. Alternatively, talk to your line manager about taking on extra responsibilities. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t take on more than you do actually have time for – it’s important to strike the right balance.
Get an early night
There’s no law that says you have to be awake for a minimum amount of hours each week. If you find yourself at a loose end one evening and the hands of the clock seem to be crawling their way towards your usual bedtime, don’t feel like you have to stay up killing time. Go to bed early if you want to and if you’re not feeling particularly sleepy, spend some time getting comfy under the covers and reading a good book.
Nisa Chitakasem is the Founder of Position Ignition, one of the UK’s leading career consultancy companies which created the Career Ignition Club, a leading-edge online careers support and learning platform. Follow her @PosIgnition.