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I have a confession to make: I am a recovering weekend workaholic.
At my Art of Leadership training, my biggest “ah-ha” moment was when I realized that I work all the time. On top of tasks at my day job, I work nights and weekends on personal projects and household chores, and I also volunteer in my free time, too.
So when do I get time to just… relax? I don’t. And for the longest time, I didn’t even realize it. Possibly worst of all is that 50 hours is about the max we can work before our productivity declines, so I’m not even sure that extra time spent trying to cross things off my to do list was useful.
But I’m learning to change! I’m stepping down from some of my volunteer duties, and I’ve stopped considering my hobbies as “work”, choosing to instead consider them things I can do to relax or have fun.
While making this commitment to myself to do less with my weekends & evenings, I wondered how other Rockwood staff members maintain their personal ecology. Here are their responses:
Eileen, Senior Finance & Operations Manager
I do honor Rockwood’s 4-day work week and don’t check email on other days or times. I use my Fridays for errands, doctor appointments, etc, so that I have my weekends for just fun stuff.
Maddie, Development Manager
On weeknights, I often cook and listen to loud music (which may or may not also involve off-key singing and dancing). It helps me unwind, while also preparing lunch for the following day. Productive, yet joyous!
I turn my screens off at 7:30 PM, so that I get good sleep. I try and cook dinner (which I love) three times a week. I almost NEVER work of Fridays unless I’m training. I walk Lake Merritt a couple times a week. And read children’s fiction regularly.
Stacy, Director of Programs
I spend time with family and friends. I work on creative projects and cook! I watch TV shows like The Office, Mad Men, Game of Thrones. I used to feel guilty, but I find I enjoy provocative or funny stories. I also love podcasts like This American Life.
Virada, Program Manager
I indulge in my interests! I’ve been going to taiji 2-3 times a week for about three years, and I consider it the 401K plan for my body in addition to cultivating “centeredness.” I take creative writing classes when the opportunity arises. I enjoy conversations with the family and/or friends over a meal. On a less glamourous note, I reset for the next week: laundry, housework, and meal-planning to add ease to my weekdays.
Julie, Director of Finance and Operations
I honor the 4-day work week more often than not, and I rarely use my computer on weekends. But, honestly, the personal ecology of my personal life is WAY worse than the personal ecology of my professional life. I’m a work-in-progress in that regard. 🙂
Ronald, Enrollment Manager
Since I joined Rockwood a year ago, I’ve held to not checking email after I leave the office. And, during the time I’m at the office, I’ve taken to turning my phone off. After work, I’ve recently been experimenting with using my phone on one charge, so I’m required to ask myself whether or not to take out the phone to document that beautiful sunset (which drains battery life like nothing else), or to experience it fully (which requires no loss of battery life). I typically prefer the latter.
Nicole, Director of Advancement
Ride my bike and hang out with my daughter. I read something recently about kids seeing their parents on their phones all the time and competing for attention; it creates spikes in bad behavior and negative reactions from parents when they are interrupted on their device. It made me cringe because it sounded familiar. Now, when I go places with her, I’ve been trying to leave my device at home.
Kierra, Program Coordinator
I rest… very well (I sleep a lot). Also, I go out on hikes with my boyfriend and friends.
Tyson, Program Manager
I have morning and bed-time routines. I go on a longer walks. I also ride my bike to and from work most days, and to/from social events if it is less than 30 minutes of riding (which means that public transit might take longer than me riding my bike). I do not check my work email outside of work. I read a lot more on the weekends and evenings, too.
Sharon, Associate Director of Programs
Every Tuesday night, I go to a weekly sitting meditation group. We sit together for 45 minutes, and then have a short ‘dharma talk’ or teaching. I often meet friends and even colleagues there to build community and get together around things other than eating and drinking! I also tell myself it only allows me to get crazy to a point each week — because weekly I’m brought back to center and grounded through this practice.
How do you spend your free time? What would you like to do less or more of?