Your time is the most valuable thing you have. It's precious and it's limited.
But over the Easter Weekend, your life and career throws you a bonus: an extra two days. One such day falls on Good Friday when there's not a whole lot open or all that much to do.
So we have two extra days, and a four-day weekend. Plenty of time to not only relax, but to also complete a few projects that’ll help your career.
If you have one hour, you can get started on any of the below.
If you have ten hours, you can start the entire list.
1. Refresh your LinkedIn profile
Your LinkedIn profile is a live summary of your professional life and really should be updated every few months. Go in and rejig your career summary, add in any recent projects and achievements, and connect with a few more people.
From there, go and join a few groups that are relevant to your industry and professional interests, and think about how you could be more active on the platform in the coming months -- if you're not already. It really is a fantastic platform for sharing relevant information, particularly for acquiring (and offering your own) tips and advice for success.
2. Google yourself: Clean up/delete your social media accounts
Have you set up random social media accounts during moments of extreme ambition? Pinterest? Various blogs? Instagram? Well now's the time to shut them down if you don't use them or clean them up if you do, especially if they're connected to your full name and professional profile.
Google yourself and see what emerges on the first few pages. Now decide what, if any of it, should be there and go into each account and either delete, change your profile name, or seriously increase your privacy settings. At this point you may also want to decide whether your Facebook account is a personal or professional social media platform (or both) and to delete any posts and pictures that may give off unintended impressions.
3. Check in on your 2016 career goals
Now I don’t mean to alarm you but a quarter of 2016 is already done and dusted.
So how are those big plans and ambitions going?
Now’s the time to check in on them, to re-evaluate them and to potentially get yourself back on track. Take one hour this weekend to sit down quietly with a pen and paper and think about what you’ve already achieved (and where things may have gone haywire), and what you want to get done in the next nine months. From there, outline your map for making it happen.
4. Get you superannuation in order
Is your super all over the place, in multiple accounts? Now's the time to take stock of just how much you have and where it is. You could be wasting thousands of dollars on unnecessary fees and have little pots of money in long, lost accounts. If you need to streamline many different super accounts into one, check out this 'how to' process.
5. Sort out your inbox
Our inboxes get so messy that the thought of cleaning them up ends up in the ‘too hard’ basket. It seems easier and more straightforward to simply deal with the chaos that’s in there on a daily basis, then to actually spend a few hours getting organised.
Well it is actually possible to clean up your inbox. In fact, if you’re determined and focused enough, you can make a very good start on this in just one hour. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting it done.
6. Book a holiday
Now this is the task that too often gets neglected. But when it’s done, it always makes you feel so much better.
A booked holiday gives you an end point, something to work towards so that no matter how hectic or stressful your week becomes, you know you’ve got some time out of the office and away from the work to rest up, relax and recuperate.
So if you’ve got a partner, a family or a friend you like to travel with, sit down and discuss some plans. Get excited and inspired. Google some options, check in on the savings (or figure out how you’re going to come up with them) and plan a future trip.
Even just a weekend away at some point in the next few months will be an excellent boost to your wellbeing.
7. Commit to end the negativity
Make a promise to yourself this weekend to end the negativity, and to silence the internal comments you say to yourself that prevent you from reaching your full potential.
Those comments can be anything from “I’m too young”, or “I’m too inexperienced”, or “I don’t have the right university degree”, to “I’m too far or thin or wide or tall” etc. The list goes on and on.
These comments are not only a waste of time and energy, but can also place self-created hurdles in the way of your career goals.
Write down some of the negative comments you tell yourself. Take a moment to see them on the page and consider how ridiculous dealing with such self-loathing on a daily basis actually is. Now tear up the page and move on.
Reading can often seem like such a luxury. It’s the little pleasure many of us can only manage a few minutes a night for before falling asleep.
So set aside some time this weekend to seriously get stuck into a great, inspirational book that’ll not only be thoroughly enjoyable to read, but will also help your career.
Check out TIME magazine’s recent list of 30 Books to Help Further Your Career.
I’ve read 20 out of this list, with my personal favourites being Cal Newport’s So Good They Can’t Ignore You, David Allen’s Getting Things Done, Susan Cain’s Quiet and Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In.
9. Go for a run, a bike ride, a swim, a dance
Maybe you’re not a runner, or a cyclist, or a swimmer. But that doesn’t mean you can’t give any one of the above a go, at least just for this weekend.
You never know, you may actually really enjoy it and kickstart new habits that not only get you in shape, but provide the space and focus for you to think through your daily tasks and ideas.
If you’re already a regular exerciser, make it extra special this weekend. Find a new park or bushland to run in. Go somewhere you’ve never been before on the bike. Swim somewhere beautiful. Sample a new gym class that you’ve never tried.
10. Binge watch Season 4 of House of Cards
Ok so it may not help your career but it will be very enjoyable, and Claire Underwood’s a simply wonderful character to watch.
And if House of Cards is not your thing, find some other series streaming on Netflix, Presto, or the ABC's iView to get stuck into this weekend.