Whether you’re putting in some extras hours to get noticed in the office or to get your next big idea off the ground, the choice between late nights and weekend working is one we all have to make at some point in our careers. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each to decide which one may be the right route for you.
Working Late: Start Tomorrow Fast
When your head is already in your work it’s quite easy to keep going and put in a couple of extra hours. If you do this all week then you can fit in an extra day’s work without having to sacrifice your weekends. It also has the added bonus of keeping your momentum going by allowing you to finish that report or arduous spreadsheet session so that you don’t have to try and pick it up in the morning. If you love to power through during the week, keep your weekends free, and be able to start a new project every morning when you get to work then adding in an extra hour or two when you need to could be ideal.
Working Late: Evenings are for Other Things
There’s certainly nothing wrong with working the odd evening here or there to get something done or to get ahead of the mountain of work that you can see slowly building in your in tray. The issues arise when you start to sacrifice your social and family life for the sake of your work. If you find yourself missing those precious few evening hours with your family, or struggling to stay in touch with your friends during the week then you may think about cutting back on the late evenings at your desk. There’s no shame in reducing your hours, and you won’t feel so tired on a Sunday night because you won’t have spent a mad 48 hours trying to fit in everyone and everything you’ve missed out on during the week.
Weekend Working: The Space to Think
One of the truly refreshing things about working a weekend is that so often you’ll be the only one working. This means that you can get your head into your work in a way that you simply can’t during the week when you’ll be bombarded with emails, meetings, and other requests for your input and time. If you have a particularly challenging or mentally taxing project then you may well find that you power through it with ease if you make it your go-to thing for a Saturday afternoon.
Weekend Working: Get the Balance Right
If you work weekends upon weekends upon weekends then you’ll soon find you burn out and start to lose a sense of the passage of time. With each day looking and feeling the same as the last it can be hard to get a sense of direction or purpose outside of your work. If you love the freedom and flexibility of your weekends then why not keep them free and flexible? Have a side project that you want to give your all on in mind for the weekends, but split your time equally between relaxation and work. That way you’ll approach Monday morning fresh and motivated.