Step 12: Relax and recover.

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My niece and nephew fishing.Use your spare time wisely, find a hobby you like or focus on your family. Work is important, but work to live, do not live to work. Find activities that give you energy. Get enough sleep; enjoy your friends and family. Take a walk outside. Do not spend the entire weekend indoors playing world of warcraft. Read something that inspires you. Kiss your spouse. Do one positive thing right now. Do you have chores that need to be done? Do one right now. Clean your bath, or make your living room a nice place to be. Surprise someone with a gift. It is up to you.

The time that you spend away from work is important. Your mission is to refuel and get ready for Monday morning. Spend quality time with your family and friends or get hobbies that energize you.

This is the last step in my “12 easy steps to become a great employee” series.

Get ready for the weekend.
Spend some time on Friday afternoon to reflect about the last week. Your goal here is to finish work mode. If you have an open task when you leave on Friday, write a few things down that you’ll pick up on Monday. When you travel home on Friday afternoon your mind should start to go to free time mode. If you drive home, stop and look at the nature for 15 minutes. If you walk, change your route and if you can, walk through a park or a forest. Stop and watch the details in a flower or if you manage to study whatever plant or animal at close range, do that.

Family values.
Kiss your spouse or girl/boyfriend when you arrive at home. Maybe if you can buy a small gift. This does not need to be much. My wife use to buy me a candy bar that cost $1.50. Sometimes I bought my wife a necklace that cost $3 once, and it is her favorite. You can buy you kids a small $2 toy. Maybe you could bring home a fruit basket or magazines. This is nothing that you’ll need to do every day, but once in a while. Maybe you could arrange a meal outdoors? And get your spouse and kids to meet you there.

Singe life?
If you have no spouse or kids, try to arrange social gatherings with your friends right after work. Maybe you could invite a friend or two for dinner? Cooking for one, can be a bore, so why don’t you make a dinner ring of four friends? You can in turn do the cooking and create a social event out of it. There is no need to go home to an empty apartment.

Learn from the children.
You will recognize this if you have kids. When kids take a walk outside and discover a bug or a flower, they can sit down and watch it for a long time, they are curious on what is going on, and they take time to stop and listen. Where adults try to move from A to B in the shortest amount of time, kids take detours all the time and they explore and discover. I saw the biggest beetle ever a couple of weeks ago, discovered by my four year old son. It was fascinating.

Get a hobby.
A lot of people have hobbies, and there is a reason for it. It is fun and in most cases social. A hobby will help you to focus on other things than work. I started blogging a couple of months ago, I write about my daily life at work, and still it helps me to draw the attention away from it. I get to “know” new people. I meet other bloggers around the world. I have had visitors from 72 different countries at my blog. But the best thing with this hobby is that I really enjoy it. It might be hard to find out what to do, as there are a lot of activities to choose from. Talk to your best friend to find out what you might enjoy. Talk about your qualities and interests, and try to match it with something that will keep your interest level high.

What do you do on your free time? Do you have great energizing hobby tips to share? Please do share how you relax and recover. I would love to hear about it. Or maybe you would like to share your plans for the weekend?

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