Guess what, we are on the cusp of a long holiday weekend, Labor Day. This is a great long weekend because the weather is usually pretty nice, but a bit sad as we unofficially bid goodbye to summer. And before we dive into our plans and get ready to spend some downtime with family and friends, you are planning on doing that right? Let’s take a moment to remember why we have this long weekend:
Labor Day: What it Means
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
Now focus on that last line:
It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
We are the workers, some of us also wear the hat of being a small business owner as well as worker, some might call us freelancers or self-employed, some of us are creative and some of us are service-oriented. We have earned the time off and we should take it without guilt to celebrate all the work we do, there is no better weekend than this.
Are you wondering if you have the time to take off? Maybe you worry that if you aren't working this weekend you are going to lose momentum, lose a customer, or that this is the perfect time to get caught up on paperwork and invoices without interruption.
I recently read an article on 99U, and it had me thinking about downtime because I have those moments where I think that I need to be working all the time, does this quote sound like you?
If you’re self-employed, chances are you’ve struggled with letting yourself take time off. It’s understandable! Time is money, after all, and when your income depends on having clients, it’s hard not to feel like there’s always something to do: if you’re not working on an assignment, you should be hustling for more work. Even when you’re operating at full bandwidth (maybe even above full bandwidth; more on that below), the pressure to “keep up” with industry news, opportunities, and your peers is real—and so is guilt of taking time off.
If so take time off, research shows that you will be more productive if you do.
Consider this: Research has proven that productivity falls sharply after a 50-hour work-week, and that time spent working past 55 hours per week is essentially useless, to the point that there’s no difference in output between a 70-hour work week and a 55-hour one. And it’s not just about productivity. Regularly pulling ten-plus hour days has been shown to increase your risk of cardiovascular issues, cause relationship problems, and can mess with your hormones (more work = more stress = higher cortisol rate, which can cause a whole host of issues with your sleep schedule, immune system, and more).
So regardless of how you work, in a corporate setting or on your own, with a computer or have a hands on jobs like a plumber or electrician, take a minute or two and read the whole article and embrace it, take your time off without guilt. Come back and be recharged so you can continue doing all that great work that you do.
While I cannot help you take your time off guilt-free, I will leave you a list of some of my go-to apps. These apps are pretty much geared to my personal life but I have found if my personal life is running reasonably smoothly it helps my professional life too. I like apps that make my life easier so that I can work smarter not harder or reduce stress.
- Yatse - Awesome remote allows me to play our music, start movies, or play stuff from AmazonPrimeVideo on my tv. The best thing is I can start the movie for the kids while I work and I don’t even need to be in the room, wifi is a beautiful thing. This is a personal use thing and I don't use it professionally, our media centers run on raspberry pi OSMC.
- Our Groceries – I love my lists, I can add whole recipes to my grocery list, I can categorize it so all the things found in the same aisle are grouped together, and I can share my lists too. I like sharing because I can also add to that list while someone else is shopping off the list.
- Nextcloud – I use this to back up photos from my phone mainly but I can also share documents with others, however this is something I only use in my personal life.
- Rest Stops – This one is pretty self-explanatory it comes in handy regardless of if you are traveling with kids.
- iExit - See above the same applies here.
- Hoppy Frog – just a fun little mindless game to pass the time, easy to find wherever you get your apps.
- Angry Birds Star Wars Edition – Self-explanatory, I am sure you can find this.
- Everlance – Makes it easier to track mileage expenses. For now I do manual entry from the app to my accounting software, but you can get a premium version and it can hook into various accounting software programs, I know it hooks into the software I use. I don't travel that much so at this point it is not cost effective for me to use the premium version.
- Waze – I am great with directions and never thought I would need this app, but I have to admit I do like it when it comes to reducing the amount of time spent in traffic, I think we can all get behind that.
- band – This is a new app and honestly I have only used for a week now but it shows great potential. My son’s soccer coach uses it and so far it is a great alternative to mass texts and emails to the parents.
(Note: I am not being paid for my mentions of the apps above nor do I receive referral compensation. The links I provide are for your convenience only.)
For this weekend I plan on enjoying the time with friends and family, and even just some time for myself. If the forecast holds true some of my plans include: riding my bike with my kids, taking a gentle hike (meaning I only need regular shoes and water, no special equipment or shoes needed!) with my family as well as my sister's family, a least one picnic (even if it is only on our deck). My oldest has recently learned about bocce so maybe we will have a family game in the back yard, or break out that badminton net.
Please leave comments on my Facebook page an let me know what your plans for the weekend are or how you like to enjoy your downtime.
DISCLAIMER: This advice is general in nature and not to be taken as personal professional advice. This blog does not provide legal advice if you need legal advice, please contact an attorney directly.