The other day a potential client asked me what my working hours are, so she will know how quickly to expect a response. My reply might surprise you.
“I would love to tell you that I take Saturdays and Sundays off every week, but I am self-employed. If there is work to be done, I am working—weekend or not.”
Yes, it goes against everything you’ve been told. It even goes against my own advice. Here’s why I’ve changed my position.
You Never Know What Tomorrow Will Bring
Will the dog get sick and require a trip to the vet? Will the router take a nose dive off the shelf and smash itself on the basement floor, killing your Internet? Will a client’s website get hacked in the hours before her scheduled launch?
All of these things (and dozens of other possibilities) have the power to distract you from your tasks for an afternoon, or even a day or more. If you don’t stay ahead of your work, it’s easy for unexpected emergencies to cause a backlog you’ll have trouble getting past.
Wouldn’t it be better, then, to spend that quiet weekend time getting a bit ahead?
I Love Weekend Work
Of course, working on a Saturday is quite a bit different from working during the week.
Most of my clients are offline, for one thing, so emails are few. I don’t turn Skype on, so I don’t have that distraction to deal with. I also don’t set foot in my office. On the weekends, you’ll find me working on my laptop, curled up in my favorite recliner, with some mindless TV show on in the background.
Most people wouldn’t really call that work, I suppose.
But the truth is, Saturdays and Sundays in my “remote” office are some of my most productive times.
These are the days I clean up my email, finally getting to all those little tasks that I set aside for “later” while I tackled the bigger projects. I use this time to write, both for clients and for my own blogs, and I spend time organizing my coming week.
By the time Sunday evening rolls around, I’m feeling productive and prepared for Monday morning.
I Still Take Time Off
Just because I work weekends doesn’t mean I never have a day off, though. Sometimes I take a Tuesday off. Or a Friday afternoon. Or even a Monday morning. Ok, that last one never happens, but you get the point.
It’s important to take time off to hang out with your family, or go to the movies (matinees are less expensive and less crowded, too), or to just chill out with the latest Stephen King novel. So don’t think just because I advocate working on the weekends and getting the work done when you have the time to do it means I think you should be working all the time. That’s just not healthy.
So tell me…do you work weekends? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments.