BY SEAN MCPHEAT

Pete Cashmore, the CEO of Mashable, spoke recently about what he does on weekends to ensure that he has a good work/life balance and prepares himself for the week ahead. The link to his article is here

It set me thinking about what great salespeople do on week­ends to get themselves ready for the week ahead and re­charge their batteries. For what it’s worth, here are my ideas on what you could do at the weekend, so you enjoy what time you have off and prepare effectively for the challenges ahead.

1) Proactively make plans for the time you’re not working

Many people just decide what they’re going to do when the time comes and don’t plan for what could be useful activities. Try not to just ‘wing it’ but actu­ally set yourself some time for activities that won’t be affected by outside influences that you can’t control. If you go back to work and have just wasted the time with mind-numbing TV-channel-hopping, you won’t look back on it with any real pleasure.

2) Do something different each weekend

By this I mean try something new that will give your mind something different to con­centrate on. Pete Cashmore suggests watching some TED lectures and I would advocate that. There are many speakers on that channel who have great things to share; if you haven’t visited the site, I suggest you try it out.

Something different might be as simple as picking up a book on a subject you haven’t read about before or calling an old friend who you haven’t con­tacted for a while. This change will be as good as a rest for the brain.

3) Get some exercise

Even if it’s just a short walk with your favourite music on the headphones, get out and enjoy some air. Some exercise gets the blood circulating and adds fuel to the brain. Most people report feeling a lot dif­ferent after exercise because of the physical effects – it also has good mental effects, too.

4) Don’t do stuff that really could wait until Monday

If you do pick up the laptop or smartphone ‘just to check in’, ask yourself “must I really do this now, or could it wait until I’m back at work?” If you con­vince yourself you have to be on-line 24/7, your brain simply won’t switch off, and this sup­posed downtime won’t being you any benefits. If you need your email fix, just put all those inbox items you were going to deal with into the ‘Do Monday’ file and shut down!

5) Decide you’re going to enjoy the downtime

Make a decision to be fully engaged with what you do. If you’re with the kids in the park but mentally going over your next presentation, you won’t get the best out of that time. Decide to do what you’re doing and really ‘be there’. That way, your kids or partner get to see the real you, not someone whose body is there but mind is somewhere else.

6) Mentally plan for how you want to approach the week ahead

This will mean you hit the ground running when the working week comes round. Yes, plan what you’re going to do, but more importantly, plan how you’re going to do it.

By planning this time ef­fectively, you can really look forward to your well-earned time off and enjoy the fruits of what should be a relaxing and up building weekend.

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