Why Entrepreneurs Should Work On Their Days Off : Under30CEO Why Entrepreneurs Should Work On Their Days Off : Under30CEO
arrow
Join the Under30CEO Community We deliver tips, tools and inspiration for your business. Daily to your inbox.

Why Entrepreneurs Should Work On Their Days Off

| July 22, 2012 | 44 Comments

If you’re considering starting your own business or becoming your own boss, you already have a different mindset than most of your peers.

Entrepreneurs think differently. We experiment. We push the limits. That’s how we succeed and exceed even our own expectations – by bucking the status quo.

Since most entrepreneurs think differently, what I’m about to suggest shouldn’t be totally outside the realm of possibility, right?

Here goes: We give a lot of lip service to work-life balance. As individuals, and also as society as a whole, we focus on making weekends and holidays for relaxing, playing and doing anything BUT work.

But what if you used those days differently? What if you dropped the balance cliché and aimed for something bigger?

If you approach your “off” days with the right mindset, you can turn them into times of major productivity. Here are a few reasons why entrepreneurs should work on their days off:

You’ll get a leg up on the competition

Most everyone takes a break and stops working and weekends and holidays. You could use those days to rest, spend time with your family and get away from work – and you should get away from work once in a while.

But you could also use that time to get ahead, to work on big projects or new plans. Why? Because if everyone else is resting and you’re plowing ahead on projects, you’re giving yourself a leg up on the competition.

This is especially important if you’re trying to get a business off the ground while working a full-time job. The only way you’ll ever make it happen is if you’re willing to put some of your off hours into your project.

But. To properly utilize what I like to call “leg-up” hours, you have to be in the right frame of mind. If you begrudge working while everyone else is eating, relaxing or watching movies, you probably won’t get much done.

You can work on fun projects guilt-free

To ensure I have the right mindset and use my “leg-up” hours strategically, I like to spend these designated days off only doing fun projects. I don’t bother trying to get ahead on work that doesn’t make me excited; instead, I’ll make headway on an upcoming course or pump out an awesome blog post or write pieces of my next book.

In other words, I’ll only do work that doesn’t feel like work.

Doing work that doesn’t feel like work has a hidden benefit; it helps move my business in the direction I want it to go. Eventually, I’d like all of the income I bring in to be based on projects that don’t feel like work. So putting extra time into projects I enjoy the most is not only a little gift to myself, it’s also smart for my business.

You’ll be uber-productive

If you have the right mindset, working on your days off is one of the best times to be productive, especially on Sundays when most people aren’t working. You won’t receive many emails, and even when you do, no one expects you to answer straight-away. So you can work on your fun projects guilt-free, without interruptions or distractions.

Some folks choose to spend Sundays with their kids or out walking in the woods, but plenty of others squander it away by doing a lot of, well, nothing. If you’re doing nothing on purpose, OWN IT! Enjoy that down time. But you might also feel better come Monday if you’ve used part of your weekend to make major progress on your passion project.

You’ll think more freely and discover your best ideas

Working while most people are relaxing is when I discover some of my best ideas. Since I can work on fun projects without feeling distracted, I’m able to think more creatively.

And that’s when those ideas really turn into something awesome – when I’m not weighed down by client projects, when I’m not on deadline, when I have time to experiment. My “off days” are the perfect time to let the creative juices flow.

Do you ever work on weekends? How do you motivate to be productive when everyone else is off?

Alexis Grant is an entrepreneurial writer, digital strategist and author of How I Surpassed My Day Job Income in Just 6 Months of Self-Employment. She also offers a free newsletter.

Opt In Image
Awesome People + Awesome Places
Travel around the world while making new friends

Under30Experiences curates awesome experiences around the world for young travelers.

Category: Startup Advice

  • The Guy

    bullshit

  • Alex

    When I launched my first startup, I had the same state of mind, doing “fun work” on the weekends. However I discovered two things :

    1. This doesn’t work if you’re not single and actually care about the person you’re living with (when do u spend time together?)
    2. Actually, I figured out that using some methodologies such as the lean start up, you can avoid a lot of waste, and by doing so, you can enjoy some hours from your working days and use them to do fun work and stuff as u said. No need to loose your days off for that.

  • http://alexisgrant.com/ Alexis Grant

     Hey Alex! So true that this becomes increasingly difficult if you have partner/family to spend time with. But once in a while, I can still find time for it :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/EmilioEstevez Emilio Estevez

    @ Cosiety we work Sundays and its great for productivity and doesnt even seem like its a weekend to us. Flexibility in your business is a great advantage over your competitors. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.urano Tim Urano

    Perfect timing, my wife and I just spent our rare “kid-free” Saturday night and Sunday morning setting up a Kids Playroom in our salon.  We’re offering on-site babysitting service so moms with kids can get a little “me-time” and get their hair done.  http://waterstonesalonandspa.com

  • harmony in life

    you need at least 1 day off (full time, no exceptions!) during the week, otherwise the productivity will fall with time…

  • Chikaj26

    Yeah, you’re really making a good point.
    You have to really work till you can realize it from your inside that you have done a good job.
    Working incessantly is a great way to move forward from your previous position. But, at least give your body your ear whenever it signals you to do so regardless the day it is. Rest at least once a week.

  • Ballen

    Get article.  Like they say – you work the first 8 hours of the day for survival, the rest is an investment.  

    Keeping you mind on the task at hand and seeing the bigger picture always helps to motivate me to work on my days off.

  • http://thepeachdesign.com/ Peachanan Rojwongsuriya

    This is exactly what I’m currently doing. I find Saturday/Sunday around afternoon when I’m out of the house at the coffee shop to be extremely productive. 

    I find doing things I like is like resting for me. It’s like playing football on your free time, but the returns of working is more. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/akela.kay Akela Kay

     Re: #1: It works just fine if you both have projects that are similar in nature to work on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/akela.kay Akela Kay

     Re: #1: It works just fine if you both have projects that are similar in nature to work on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/akela.kay Akela Kay

     Re: #1: It works just fine if you both have projects that are similar in nature to work on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/akela.kay Akela Kay

     Re: #1: It works just fine if you both have projects that are similar in nature to work on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/akela.kay Akela Kay

     Re: #1: It works just fine if you both have projects that are similar in nature to work on.

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O’Toole

    This can be true but many business owners simply don’t stop thinking about the business. It’s not that they have to they simply want to because it’s their passion.

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O’Toole

     Agreed! I feel extremely productive on weekends because usually I don’t have to be doing anything. So when stuff gets done it’s just a bonus.

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O’Toole

    I have found that there seems to be plenty of time for both. I won’t put in that 8hr day on a saturday but I also can’t resist an hour or two looking over important emails, brainstorming or planning for next steps. Weekends are not full or stressful days but I enjoy getting a few things done.

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    I like working when I have absolutely no agenda or goals and this normally falls on the weekends. Business happens to be one of my biggest hobbies and I really enjoy messing around experimenting with things.  Weekends are my version of Google’s 20% time.

    I also have tons of other hobbies and like to disconnect completely for days at a time.

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    I like working when I have absolutely no agenda or goals and this normally falls on the weekends. Business happens to be one of my biggest hobbies and I really enjoy messing around experimenting with things.  Weekends are my version of Google’s 20% time.

    I also have tons of other hobbies and like to disconnect completely for days at a time.

  • http://twitter.com/Synnovatia Jackie Nagel

    Although this is a nice idea, it’s not sustainable. Plus, you end up developing some habits which won’t serve you long term. I’d suggest that’s it better to organize your work days/week better to allow yourself uninterrupted business and strategic development time referred to in this article. 

  • http://twitter.com/Synnovatia Jackie Nagel

    Although this is a nice idea, it’s not sustainable. Plus, you end up developing some habits which won’t serve you long term. I’d suggest that’s it better to organize your work days/week better to allow yourself uninterrupted business and strategic development time referred to in this article. 

  • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

    Great article Alexis. As an entrepreneur, I certainly need to find time to relax and do what I enjoy, but putting in the extra hours on nights, weekends, and even holidays can certainly pay off, especially in start-up stages. As a young entrepreneur without kids, I’m sure I find it much easier to work weekends and holidays than those who have started a family.

    The hardest part is sometimes turning down a day out on the river or up at the ski resort. Sometimes I think it is important to have the mindset that if you work hard now, things will pay off in the future.

    Working hard is important, but I think you really want to balance your life with family, friends, travel, and recreation time as well. 

     

  • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

    Great article Alexis. As an entrepreneur, I certainly need to find time to relax and do what I enjoy, but putting in the extra hours on nights, weekends, and even holidays can certainly pay off, especially in start-up stages. As a young entrepreneur without kids, I’m sure I find it much easier to work weekends and holidays than those who have started a family.

    The hardest part is sometimes turning down a day out on the river or up at the ski resort. Sometimes I think it is important to have the mindset that if you work hard now, things will pay off in the future.

    Working hard is important, but I think you really want to balance your life with family, friends, travel, and recreation time as well. 

     

  • Venkisap15

    Working on the weekend is fun!, rather completely allocating my time to work , here i divide my time like continuous 4 hours on Saturday  and 4 hours on sunday , and rest of my time allocate it to the entertainment, i think, it all depends on person how he manage his extra time for personal business work  growth ,apart from the regular job work.

  • Superprofitoyou

    So your kids suffer, you don’t spend time with them because you’re working….great

  • Superprofitoyou

    So your kids suffer, you don’t spend time with them because you’re working….great

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O’Toole

    I’d disagree. Some of the best ideas and brainstorms happen when you’re not trying. No pressure to come up with anything.

  • http://twitter.com/Synnovatia Jackie Nagel

     I appreciate your thoughts and agree with you on the premise that when you’re not under pressure, you can be more creative. My question is this: why can’t one adopt some of that ‘no pressure’ creative time during the work week? 

  • http://twitter.com/Synnovatia Jackie Nagel

     I appreciate your thoughts and agree with you on the premise that when you’re not under pressure, you can be more creative. My question is this: why can’t one adopt some of that ‘no pressure’ creative time during the work week? 

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O’Toole

    I think you can…But it’s not like I schedule time to do work on weekends or on vacations. It just happens. I think if you love what you do you’re just always thinking about it. I don’t set time aside at the beach to do work yet I’m always jotting down some notes or ideas because I just happen to think of them.  

  • Tip 3iproductions

    As a founder there is no such thing as “days off” or a “40hour work week”. Things come up all the time and unexpectedly at random hours. Sometimes things don’t even come up, you just feel the need to work on your “baby”, your company/startup because you get a burst of inspiration. ;)

  • Quintin Adamis

    Damn mobile site changed my name to my email

  • QuintinAdamis

    Quintin Adamis

  • Pingback: Why Entrepreneurs Should Work On Their Days Off

  • Pingback: Poll: As an Entrepreneur Do You Work on Your Days Off? | KYEAN.org

  • http://twitter.com/Synnovatia Jackie Nagel

    Capturing ideas is not the same as “working” as implied in this article. I agree with you that capturing ideas in the moment is smart – so they don’t get lost in the sand – as long as you don’t pull out your ipad and start launching a website :-D

  • Shadeed_Eleazer

    Everyday is a work day on my business ventures. It’s important to define that work for an Owner isn’t always heavy lifting or defined by hours. It can be planning a single aspect of the business or writing a single mission statement, the focus should be completion.
    In my case, I include “fun” and “rest” as part of my personal work equation. The key is making sure that tasks are prioritized so that if you complete only 1 task or project that day it is the most important. I make an effort to also schedule in activities that I enjoy such as golf, bikram yoga, and running so that I’m getting the most out of the day. I also wake up a few hours earlier than than typical employee so that I can “work” and be finished before most people have their morning cup of coffee.

  • Todd

    Not for people with kids. Otherwise you’re stealing from their development to indulge your own project. Yes, that project contributes to the family’s financial bottom line. But at the end of the day, your “family” will be bankrupt in every other respect.

  • Pingback: 20 Most Contradictory Career Advice (And What You Should Do) | Open Colleges Blog

  • Pingback: Sound Off: Should Entrepreneurs Work On Their Day Off? | Project Eve

  • Pingback: 8 Tips for Launching Your Side Hustle Like a Rock Star | flyy, female & fabulous

  • bsaunders

    I agree Jared. What I needed days off from when working for others were things like the commute, meetings, and other other-directed or other-demanded tasks. My “real work,” I can honestly say I’ve been doing every day since I was about 3 years old :-)

  • Pingback: Links We Love This Week | The Daily Muse

  • Sandra Harriette

    If it’s not for you, then it’s not for you