In a perfect world, most entrepreneurs who work Monday – Friday wouldn’t be expected to work weekends too. We all know how busy your schedule as a business owner can be as it’s often accompanied by a to-do list that’s a mile long.

While working weekends isn’t ideal, it’s pretty standard among many ambitious entrepreneurs. That said, taking breaks is essential, although sometimes weekend work may accommodate your schedule more.

I tend to work at least 1 or 2 weekends per month depending on how busy things are, what I need to catch up on, and whether I took any extra time off during the week. With the big holiday coming up, I will likely squeeze in a few hours of work this weekend, so I can take a few days off next week to relax and celebrate.

If you’re an entrepreneur planning to get some work done or simply catch up over the weekend, you can still be productive and have time to relax.

Here’s how you can schedule a productive work weekend without losing your sanity.

Start By Waking Up Early

Sure, the weekend can be a great time to sleep in, but if you’re working, you might as well get a head start on all your tasks. Getting up early (even on weekends) gives you more time to focus on getting things done.

By rising early, you can schedule a productive work weekend and start your day before distractions sink in. Think about it. If you get up and start working around 6 am or 7 am; you’ll get a lot done before your family gets up around 9 am or 10 am.

As a result, you’ll end your day earlier so you can relax in the evening or do whatever you want.

Prioritize What Needs to Be Done

The weekend may seem short, but it’s still a lot of time. Technically, you get around 60 hours each weekend starting on Friday at 6 pm. Determine what you want to accomplish during this time, then work backward by prioritizing specific tasks.

What projects or results would you like to have by the time your weekend concludes? Which specific tasks will help you get those results? For example, let’s say you want to shoot and edit a video for your business for one weekend. You may prioritize tasks like outlining the video and developing a script, preparing the ‘set,’ shooting the video and editing the video.

Choose Specific Time Blocks to Create Your Schedule

Working during the weekend may not be fun, but it can be tolerable if you get some breaks and don’t have to sit at a desk the entire time. B honest about how much time you’ll have each day then make the best of it.

For example, if you can commit to 10 to 12 hours between Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, you can schedule a productive work weekend by time blocking your schedule.

If we revisit our example above about working on a video, you can outline and prepare for your video for an hour or two on Friday, spend a few hours during the day shooting the video on Saturday, then carve out some time to edit the video on Sunday.

Choose whether you want to do the bulk of your work in the day time or during evenings. Don’t forget to put your designated work hours on the calendar. If you prefer to spend the evening doing something fun with friends or family, commit to getting up early and spending a few uninterrupted hours knocking out work tasks so you can enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Set Yourself Up For Success

Think about what you’ll need to schedule a productive work weekend. Do your best to prepare by planning and communicating with others in advance. Most offices are closed on weekends. Also, realize that colleagues may not respond to an email so promptly.  Be sure to take care of all necessary correspondence before the weekend hits so you can work independently.

After you’ve chosen your priorities, create a to-do list of smaller tasks that you may want to accomplish as well. Getting these things done will give you an extra confidence boost and help you get ahead for the following week. However, if you never aim at anything, you may end up wasting time and not accomplishing nearly as much as you could have.

Identify and remove any distractions that could disrupt your productive workflow over the weekend. Stay off social media and ask your partner to keep the kids during your designated work hours.

You may even want to head to a coffee shop or library so you can focus better and maximize the time you have.

Set Aside Time For Breaks and Fun

When some people hear that I occasionally work weekends, they feel bad for me. The generalization is that I am spending my entire day cooped up in the house and on the computer when that often isn’t the case.

I wake up early and complete a task; then I might take a break to run errands spend time with my family. I try to get all my weekend work completed by around 2 pm. Then, I get the rest of the day to myself. Some times, I do work Saturday evenings, but it’s often light tasks that don’t require much effort. Other times, I take Sunday off completely to rest, or I don’t work at all during the weekend. It depends.

You can certainly set up your business in a way that avoids you having to work weekends. Still, we all know that your schedule can vary and things will pop up. If you do ever end up having to work weekends, make the best of it, and get on a productive schedule. That way, you can focus on achieving your goals and still have plenty of downtime.