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Are you a Monday or a Friday person? We are entrenched in a looking-forward weekend culture. We often hear things like “only two days to Friday.” And Thursdays’ evenings are already filled with a small taste of weekend. But, I was never a Friday person. I am lucky to love what I do during the weekdays. Writing is my passion and I like Mondays.

When you like your work, maybe too much, it is hard to disconnect. I made the purpose to exercise regularly to balance my work and non-work. Last weekend I run 5K, biked 20K and run again 2.5K more, as part of a duathlon competition. One year of regular training paid off. I felt a lot more comfortable riding my bike at a much higher speed. I even got to the podium with a third position in my age group. I did not think much about work during that day. Although I admit I checked my email and twitter several times.

Psychological detachment from your daily routine is good for you. If you are also a Monday person and find it difficult to detach yourself from work, make exercise a part of your weekend routine. Here are four key steps to setting new exercise habits into your work life:

  1. Start small and easy: Schedule your sport during that time of the day when you are less productive at work. If you are a morning person, reserve your best thinking time for work and program sports in the afternoon. I started with indoor cycling late afternoon on Fridays.
  2. Move forward and get support: Once you have built-in a sport into your weekly routine, take it a step forward with some support. For example, you can now ride your bicycle outside with a group of friends. This is something I do now on Sunday mornings.
  3. Choose the right sport: Be aware of your preferences. If you are an introvert, you will probably enjoy more individual sports than competitive team games. Outdoor activities like running or hiking with small group of friends might be the right choice.
  4. Experience success: Sport competitions might be a bit intimidating for beginners. I often feel like running away from the crowd. But, somehow you can create a small space where you feel more comfortable together with other novices. Remember that you define what success means to you. Just to finish the race is an accomplishment.

Below you can find three related articles on the danger of overworking, the benefits of work-life balance and some more ideas on how to spend your weekends.

” You can take me out of the work, but you can’t take the work out of my head.”

“Work-life balance emerges as a particularly strong predictor of people’s happiness.”

” A new study from Stanford shows that productivity per hour declines sharply when the workweek exceeds 50 hours.”

” Use your weekends to create a better week ahead.”

Question: How do you spend your weekends?

Margarita Mayo

I´m Margarita Mayo. I´ve been a Professor of Leadership and Psychology at IE Business School since 2000. Prior to that I was a Fulbright scholar at Harvard University and professor at Ivey Business School. I feel passionate about scientific dissemination, and I have more than 20 years of international experience teaching courses on soft skills, giving keynote conferences and coaching executives on leadership development and change management. Always eager to help develop the next generation of leaders.

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