The weekend is almost here, and you're probably pumped for some time to kick back, relax and de-stress after a long week. While you should absolutely make sure that those items are on the weekend agenda, don't just sit on the couch for 48 hours watching shows on Netflix or saved on your DVR!
Instead, participate in one or more of the following five activities. They don't take too much time but will reap huge benefits now and when you're ready for the next step in your career.
1.) Update your resume and/or build a personal website
Whether actively on the job hunt or not, when was the last time you brushed up your personal one-page resume (or two, in some cases)? If it's been more than six months, you should take an hour this weekend and just get it up to date. You may feel confident in your job now, but it's always good to be prepared in case something drastically changes with you — or your company.
And if you're creative — or have always wanted to build a website — why not make a site that's all about you this weekend. It could be a portfolio, or a blog. There are tons of free tools such as Wordpress and About.me that can help you get started.
Randomly read a few Wikipedia pages; sign up for a free course on edX or Coursera; read a magazine related to your profession or pick up a new non-fiction book; join an Hour of Code event — do something!
Push your own boundaries, and explore a new world or a new take on something you do every day. One of the keys to professional growth is a willingness and desire to expand your knowledge base (and to surround yourself with others you can learn from).
3.) Engage socially
This could go two ways: In real life or in the digital realm. Maybe you attend a Meetup in your city with likeminded professionals, or go to a seminar or other event.
Are you active on Twitter or Facebook? Spend some time updating your social presence and find people to engage via those platforms. Post up a few tweets and start to establish your personal brand in the social space.
It's good for the soul! While you should always focus on the altruistic benefits of volunteering, it's also the kind of trait that employers are looking for. Find a cause that is important to you and spend a few hours helping others.
Volunteering is also another opportunity to network, and could even land you a full-time job with a non-profit. There's no shortage of need, and therefore no shortage of opportunities. VolunteerMatch is one of many tools available to help you find ways to give back.
5.) Put down the phone
If you spend a lot of time at your job on the computer, you're probably apt to bring work home with you — checking email obsessively at night and even in to the weekend. Don't! Take a break this weekend and detach from the phone. You'll come in on Monday so fresh and clear-minded that you'll be able to quickly attack any backlog — and spur your creative thinking again.