Weekend Hours

Posted by: Jena McGregor on March 19, 2008

“I want to thank you, Mr. Secretary, for working over the weekend,” President Bush was quoted as saying in the New York Times today to Treasury Secretary and former Goldman Sachs chief Hank Paulson. I promise this won’t become a political blog post, but that quote got me thinking. Don’t our political leaders always work on weekends? Since when is running the world’s supposed superpower (though it certainly hasn’t been looking like one lately) a five-day-a-week, 9-to-5 job? And how many peoples’ bosses actually thank them for working on the weekend?

In a lot of corporate cultures, it’s just part of the workweek. Life spills over into work, and work spills over into life. Who can get a quiet moment during the week to put two thoughts together, anyways? The Sunday evening prep session has become as de rigeur for many professionals as the ever-tethered Blackberry.

I’m interested in the latest thinking on time management—the best gurus, the best tips, the secrets you’ve learned trying to keep Monday morning away from Sunday night. Anyone have any fresh ideas?

Reader Comments

Derrick

March 18, 2008 1:54 PM

I used to check my work email frequently during the weekend with a final check on Sunday night so I could prepare for Monday. Frequently I would get emails that would be very frustrating and would completely spoil my mood. Finally my girlfriend had enough of my work ruining my weekend and banned me from checking my email. She didn't physically do anything but her just saying it made me realize that I was driving myself nuts over things that could wait 'til I was "on the clock". That being said there are still situations where I'll check it but it's a much more controlled environment where I'll start a project on a Friday and check in on it over the weekend and not a "check everything" attitude.

Dan Schawbel

March 18, 2008 2:18 PM

I think it depends on the nature of your job and the deadlines you must hit on a reoccurring basis. If your passionate about your current role, then spending time on weekend projects is a mere hobby. What it comes down to is what your willing to give up to be successful at your job and the foreseeable benefits from that sacrifice. In summary, by developing your personal brand, you are more abt to work smarter, faster and be happy.

-Dan, www.personalbrandingblog.com

Bea Fields

March 18, 2008 3:48 PM

To begin with, I cannot personally give advice on this topic. I am one of those Baby Boomers who works really hard, and as much as I try to “relax” on Sunday, I am always busy doing something.

However, your question has had me really think about how Generation Y would respond to this question. You see, I believe that Gen Y holds the key to this ever pressing question about time management. In the research I have conducted over the last 18 months, I am learning that Gen Y is dedicated to living first and working second (hence the book Live First, Work Second by Rebecca Ryan), getting paid according to the task/not time and taking off to kick back daily. I believe that the traditional M-F work week is changing, and that Gen Y will help to redefine the amount of time we dedicate to work, and our work week may look very different as we move through the next 3-5 years. It is already changing, and employers are responding by allowing much more flexibility in the way work is done.

So…for Baby Boomers…if you are reading this, the best tip I can give you on how to start cracking this “take time off” code is to spend the week with a Generation Y adult (this means someone who is under the age of 30) and pick up some of their “kick back” and “take time off” strategies.

Bea Fields: http://MillennialLeaders.com

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