When jam-packed schedules finally give way to the weekend, it can be tempting to make time for maintaining friendships and binge-watching Netflix, but there’s also something to be said for using part of your alone time to work on your career.
Here’s why spending some time by yourself — during the work week or when a lazy Sunday rolls around — can boost you professionally.
You have the time and mental space for brainstorming
If thoughts and dreams of what you really want flood your mind during the work week, take a moment alone to write them down. There’s power putting your ideas on paper when you can really get quiet.
You can work on side projects
Having time alone also means that you can start or chip away at that side project you’ve been wanting to work on for weeks.
This includes making your professional website reflect who you are now and building an impressive personal brand.
Send some emails — get back in touch with people in your network by updating them on what you’re currently up to and offering to help them professionally in any way you can.
You can review your resume — before you actually need to
When the perfect job opportunity presents itself, there’s nothing like being so prepared that you updated your resume way before you knew about it, and are ready to present it at a moment’s notice.
But I hear you: Yeah, that sounds great and all, but how will I find the time or motivation? By using some of your time your time alone wisely.
Do it now so you don’t have to deal with the uphill battle of doing it later, and you’ll be that much further ahead when applying for your new job in the future.
You can organize your workspace
Wake up. Go to work. Come home. Repeat.
When every day goes like this, sometimes you get so wrapped up in going through the motions that you don’t take time to organize your home workspace the way you want to, maybe even spring cleaning-style.
But when you intentionally spend time alone — and set out to give something back to yourself with a schedule that constantly takes from you — at long last, you have the time to do so.
You can make time for yourself between meetings
Sometimes, you just need a moment to yourself at work — especially when you have so many meetings that it’s difficult to get things done.
Harvard Business Review says to take five quiet minutes between meetings when you’re very busy.
“If you’re able to close the office door, retreat to a park bench, or find another quiet hideaway, it’s possible to hit reset by engaging in a silent practice of meditation or reflection,” the publication says.
You can practice mindfulness
This can be done at home, at work, during your commute — pretty much anywhere, but especially when you’re alone.
By taking the time to focus on only your breathing, you can reset and later take the time to think about what you really want in both your life and career.
Originally published at www.theladders.com