If you’re a freelancer, you’ll likely have flexible hours. However, that does not mean that you can’t have weekends! Don’t feel guilty if you want to have a few days to yourself. You’ve worked hard and you deserve it.
Once Friday kicks in, we’re totally jazzed about what to do on Saturday and Sunday. However, planning weekend activities is not as simple as it seems. As a freelancer, your earnings depend on the amount of work you produce, and you need to make the most out of your time. So, it is important that you make your weekends meaningful. After all, the days that you’re not working are days you could’ve earned money.
So, what are the top weekend activities for freelancers and remote workers?
# Learn Something New #
Is there a reset button for being an adult? Unfortunately, there is none. We are stuck in the cycle of working, sleeping, and working again. All we can do is move forward. Thankfully, the weekend always brings us hope for change. It is the best time to refresh our minds and learn something new. Here are some of the learning activities we recommend:
1. Attending a Conference
There’s something magical about ordering room service and relaxing in a hotel’s fancy bathtub. However, most of the time, this is an unnecessary expense. Do you want to have a reasonable excuse to check into a hotel? Well, you should attend a conference related to your field of business. You’re having a wonderful stay in a hotel while gaining valuable knowledge.
When you attend a conference, you can get inspiration and ideas from industry experts. What’s more, you’ll have the opportunity to meet other people in your business field. We know that a lot of remote workers prefer staying cooped up in their homes. However, it would not hurt if you go out and network from time to time, especially if you want to keep yourself from becoming a hairy hermit. What’s more, it can be good for meeting people who can connect you with good projects.
2. Reading Books
Do you find yourself staring at your computer screen for hours to end? Do you imagine yourself throwing your laptop against the wall? Does this start to happen frequently? If so, then you may be on the verge of burnout. There are many reasons why you’re starting to feel this way. However, the primary cause of it is the industry’s expectations of overwork from remote employees. You may be left to your own devices to combat stress, but you can still use this to your advantage. During the weekend, you have control over what you can do, and reading books is one way to prevent burnout.
Of course, the primary benefit of reading is continued learning and self-improvement. However, it offers plenty of other rewards that many of us might not know. Here are some of them:
- Improving social skills
- Building leadership skills
- Widening vocabulary
- Reducing stress by 68% every six minutes of reading
3. Taking Online Courses
We all know how fierce the competition is in the corporate jungle. However, it becomes even more cutthroat once you enter the freelancing world. You’re basically going against any skilled person who owns a computer and has Internet connection across the globe! So, the weekends are best spent on continued learning. Thankfully, you don’t even have to leave home just to acquire new knowledge and skills.
To stay at the top of your game, you can take online courses. It is worth noting that eLearning can be more effective than traditional classroom education. After all, it gives you the freedom to listen or watch materials that you like. You can customize your content according to your learning style. Consequently, you will better understand and retain the information you receive.
# Have Fun and Generate Endorphins #
Just because you’re dedicated to getting ahead of the game, it doesn’t mean that you should forget about your happiness. Weekends can be all about fun too! Here are some things you can do to take care of your mental and physical health:
So, you’re an expert in the challenging art of daily workouts. We’re totally slow clapping right now. However, if you’re more like the many people who struggle to climb that elliptical, we feel you.
Well, the weekend is the perfect time to get some workout done. What’s great about this is you can do it any time of the day. During the work week, your only options include the early mornings or late evenings. What’s more, it allows you to do other sorts of things. For instance, you can catch up on that documentary series that you snooze off to every day. When you’re running like crazy on that treadmill, you’d have enough energy to go through an episode. If you are not convinced yet, checkout some home exercises to tune your body a little bit.
2. Catching Up with Friends
Many of us are guilty of trying to get some work done over the weekend. However, over time, you will realize the value of getting coffee or going for a walk with a friend over the weekend.
Becoming a recluse the entire weekend after a hell week can be quite tempting. You must power over that and choose to invest in relationships. After all, if you want to be happy in life, then you should value social interactions. If you live away from your close friends, you can still try calling them. A simple phone call can do wonders in helping you rejuvenate over the weekend.
3. Additional Tips for Generating Endorphins
- Drink ginseng – This is something you can do throughout the week. If you’re starting to feel stressed or fatigues, you can drink ginseng to balance the release of stress hormones. This herb has been known to help produce more endorphins in the body.
- Watch a funny movie or TV show – Children laugh about 300 times a day, which helps keep them healthy. In contrast, adults, at an average, only laugh about five times a day. So, we recommend finding things that will make you laugh during the weekends. It’s probably the best time to catch up on what’s happening to Jake Peralta and watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Cool, cool, cool—no doubt!
- Have sex – Our bodies are naturally programmed to enjoy sex, but we often put it off for more important tasks. So, it’s time to brush the dust off your Tinder profile, swipe right, and take advantage of nature’s great relaxant!
- Eat chocolates – Dark chocolate can reduce inflammation, boost good cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and protect your arteries’ health. What’s more, it contains chemicals that help release endorphins in your body.
- Eat something spicy – Did you know that the spicy, hot taste in food is not actually a taste sensation? In fact, it is a feeling of pain. Now, there is a reason why some people enjoy the painful sensation they get from eating spicy food. Our bodies react to the pain by releasing endorphins.
# Get Creative and Collaborate #
Google has a 20% rule wherein the companies require employees to spend 20% of their time exploring passion projects. When they introduced this rule, people became more creative and productive by 80%. Indeed, getting creative and trying side projects at the weekend can boost your work performance.
1. Taking a Side Project or a Creative Hobby
Are creative hobbies and side projects the same? While there are similarities between the two, they are still quite different from each other. When you take up a side project, you will eventually have a finished output. On the other hand, a creative hobby refers to something that interests you, which you can do for a long time.
Take musicians as an example. They often take on side projects that allow them to experiment on new music technology, instruments, and sounds. In a way, their hobby results in a project. Meanwhile, some people find doing crafts an enjoyable hobby. Perhaps, eventually, they will turn it into a side project wherein they sell their output online.
What’s great about freelance work is you have control over your time. So, you are free to take on projects and hobbies at the weekends—or even throughout the week. To get you started, here are some ideas:
- Learning to code
- Learning to paint
- Selling something online
- Starting a blog
- Writing a book
2. Finding Your Community
Working alone at home can be isolating for some. A lot of freelancers spend the entire day without talking to anyone, which is why they can easily fall into anxiety and depression. However, if you can talk to people who share the same struggles, you can make a huge difference in your mental health. It is important to surround yourself with individuals who are capable and willing to answer your client and business questions. People who can empathize with your experiences can help you overcome the challenges of remote work.
Over the weekend, you can connect with people in similar fields and attend events. More and more freelancers are becoming approachable. They too understand the struggles in the business and are willing to connect with others to give support. There are plenty of online communities and groups that organize meetups over the weekend. On the other hand, you can also write about your own experiences in an online forum. You will be surprised to discover how many people are ready to empathize with you.
# Stay at Home #
Some people can splurge money and enjoy a delicious cocktail by the beach on their weekends. For most of us, peasants, we can only stay at home and daydream about a wonderful getaway. Just because your only choice is to stay at home at the weekend, it doesn’t mean that there’s nothing good to do. Here are some activities we recommend:
1. Watching the Sunrise
The weekend is the perfect time to be alone with your thoughts and shut off the noise of the world. So, take this time to wake up early, kick back in your backyard, and enjoy a cup of aromatic coffee while enjoying the sunrise.
2. Cooking New Dishes
Most of us do not have time to cook our meals throughout our packed week. It’s time to give those takeout boxes a rest! The weekend is the best time to start your ‘Pretend Cooking Show’ IG stories! You can experiment with different recipes and sharpen your cooking skills.
Meditation can bring benefits to your physical and mental health. During weekends, wherein your schedule is free, you can meditate to reduce stress, improve concentration, and keep your brain healthy.
4. Repairing or Improving Your Home
Trust us…you will feel fulfilled once you see a freshly painted room, an upcycled piece of furniture, or a remodeled patio that you did all by yourself!
5. Planning the Next Week
“What?! I’m supposed to forget about work this weekend!”
We know that we seem obsessed with work, but trust us—it will make your weekend more enjoyable. Aside from that, we’re not saying that you should spend the entire day sticking post-ins on your walls for next week’s tasks. Keep in mind that time is a limited commodity. So, you must take control of your schedule and keep yourself organized.
Pro Tip: If you’re struggling in organizing your tasks, you can use a time tracking program like Traqq. This tool will monitor your tasks and activity levels throughout the week. In this way, you will be able to identify which projects you’re spending more time on. If you’re the type who is more efficient when working on easy tasks first, you can get the difficult projects at the lower-end of your priority scale.
All you need to do is spend 30 minutes mapping out your major projects and goals for the coming week. With your tasks organized in advance, you won’t stress about what’s coming ahead. Consequently, you can spend the entire weekend peacefully.
# Perform a Good Deed #
When we think about the things we can do during the weekend, we naturally plan for ourselves. How often do we think about the benefit of others? Well, you should know that the universe does not revolve around you! Weekends do not have to be all about ‘Me, Myself, and I’. Here are some good deeds you can do:
1. Volunteer at a Local Charity
Did you know that once you become less self-involved, you will start to see that your problems are not as bad as what other people are dealing with? Quit being an entitled whiner and try doing something good for others! You can go to the local shelter and see how you can help in feeding the homeless or how you can care for the less-privileged.
2. Recycle Old Items
This is one activity that will benefit not only you but the environment as well. Go through all your old items in the garage or attic and see what you can recycle. Have you found old love letters from your ex? Yes, you can recycle those as long as they’re not written on glossy or glittered paper! How about your old couple photos? Nah—they’re probably better off in the bin. Meanwhile, if you have old clothes or furniture that you want to get rid of, contact local donation centers and see if they will accept those items.
There are many other things you can do during the weekend. From time to time, you can use it to get away and collect meaningful memories and experiences. As a freelancer, you have better control over your time. So, do not abuse it and instead, take advantage of this power and plan meaningful weekends that can be beneficial for your body, soul, and mind.