We need to Guard our Rest Time the Same Way We Guard our Work Time.

Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

Last Sunday went very hectic.

It was supposed to be my leisure day, which should ideally mean resting and chilling. But, I was surprised to see my Sunday passing by as a super busy day.

I got so tired by the end of that day that I had to take a few hours off on Monday to recuperate from the Sunday stress.

I had been aware of this issue for the past few weeks, but I chose to ignore it. However, this Sunday, the problem grew so much that if it went unaddressed anymore, I would quickly reach the burnout stage, a common phenomenon among us entrepreneurs.

“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.” — Alan Cohen

I need to be mentally strong if I have to run longer on my startup journey. Therefore, I better fix this issue without further delay.

What is this issue?

It has something to do with procrastination.

But this seems so weird, as I was never the procrastinator type. On the contrary, I am the kind of person who would finish all her pending tasks before ending my work day. So I want to see all my TODO lists crossed out for the day.

By the way, those were the days when I was in employee mode, i.e., doing a job. Checking off all the items on my TODO list is a distant dream now in my startup mode.

But the point I want to make is that I like to finish all my tasks on time. So, how come I am falling victim to procrastination.

On further introspection of this issue, I discovered that I am explicitly deferring my non-work-related tasks for a Sunday. As a result, it is making my Sunday packed with many tasks to finish.

In my zeal to guard my time during a workday, I push all the low-priority and non-critical tasks for Sunday.

Here is an example of how postponing non-critical tasks can lead to a Hyperactive Sunday.

I am strictly tracking my TODO weekly tasks. Any low-priority task that can cause a delay to my weekly timeline is being pushed off to the coming Sunday. Some of the examples of such non-critical tasks are:

  • To pay Utility Bill
  • To call a friend to gather some information related to a trip
  • To Buy a gift for a friend
  • To do Online Research for a new smartwatch that I want to buy
  • To plan an itinerary for my upcoming vacation trip

This is not an exhaustive list, but all these items are not directly related to my business work. Hence all of them are moved to the coming Sunday.

This approach helps me guard my work week from unimportant tasks so that I can accomplish more items from my weekly TODO list. But this approach also clutters my Sunday. The massive number of pending tasks on a Sunday overwhelms me.

The last Sunday turned out to be more stressful and tiring than my weekday.

As I reflect on my situation, it seems a bit weird.

So far, we have read articles on managing our time to accomplish more tasks in a day/week/month or year.

But here I am, struggling with a peculiar time management problem during my rest day. And I need to resolve this issue without involving heavy load management mantras from the self-proclaimed management gurus.

I need to fix this issue.

What does my ideal Sunday look like?

  • I need some quality time for my mental well-being.
  • I should utilize my Sunday off-time to indulge in random activities.
  • I should spend the day with minimal planning and devoid of any TODO list.

With the end goal in mind, I could now think of these three things to invest my Sunday in a better manner:

Evaluate the Unplanned tasks

When an unplanned activity comes up unexpectedly, I should first evaluate it instead of quickly shoving it off to the coming Sunday. I should ask first — Do I need to sacrifice my day off for this?

What if I could complete this activity by squeezing some spare time into the work week? This way, I can accomplish more work on the weekdays too.

Delegate the Noncritical tasks

I should start delegating some tasks. This means it is time to hire an admin person for my startup.

This person can do some unimportant tasks that I end up taking on Sundays.

Avoid Over-Commitment

This is an area where only I can help myself. First, I have to rectify my behavior. To please my family and friends, I offer my leisure time. I do not realize that I am stretching myself with my over-commitment.

Interestingly, no one asked me for this commitment in the first place. It was I who initiated these socializing activities. Therefore, it was no one else’s fault but mine. I need to guard my non-work time the same way I guard my work time. In this case, I had to protect my non-work time from myself too.

I have come up with this three-point technique all by myself.
True to the Buddha teaching —

“You are your own Master; you make your own future.”

Hopefully, I will get back my relaxing time from next Sunday onwards by applying these techniques.

Wishing you a great week and hope you get to spend your rest days in a relaxed manner.

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Anju Aggarwal

Anju Aggarwal

A budding entrepreneur journalling her in-progress startup journey. Expertise in Products, projects & Process management in the IT domain.