When I was asked to write a little post encouraging my youth worker friends to maximize their day off, I became a little anxious. Mostly because I don’t like reading stuff from people telling me how to live my life, so why in the heck would I want to become a culprit myself? Add to that the reality that I’m not the greatest maximizer of my day off…that I often squander it, or worse, neglect it….and you can understand my hesitancy to write any words that would attempt to help you make yours better.
So I started by thinking about the times I’ve gotten it right and the times I’ve gotten it wrong, and there seem to be some common threads. So, here are three do’s and three don’ts for making your day off a great one.
- Something you LOVE to do.
Chances are your life is really busy and you neglect some of the little things in life that bring you joy. What is it for you? Sleeping in? Seeing a matinee movie? Going for a long walk or short run? Lunching with a friend? Gardening? Gaming? Reading? Whatever the “little thing in life” is for you, your day off is a perfect time to make sure you get a regular dose!
- Something you NEED to do.
This isn’t nearly as fun, but it’s important. Since your life is busy, you probably also neglect some of the basic things you simply can’t not do. Pay a bill or two. Pull a few weeds. Get the oil changed. Exercise. For some, the things you need to do happen to be things you love to do. Jackpot!
- Something you NEVER do.
Once in a while, use your day off to spoil yourself, stretch yourself, and surprise yourself by doing something you simply never find the time, energy or money to do! Save up and treat yourself to a day at the spa. Rent a convertible. Read an entire book in one sitting. Walk your neighbor’s dog. Take a cooking class.
- Waste It.
Because you only get one or two per week (if you are lucky), don’t waste it! Head into your day off with a strategy for how you’d like to spend it. There have been far too many times in my life where at day’s end I think to myself, “Shoot, I totally wasted my day off.” Staying in bed all day isn’t a wasted day off…unless you didn’t plan on it.
I’m preaching to the choir, here, for sure. It is so tempting and easy to respond to emails, drop by the office, check in on the progress of a team project, etc. But try not to. I’ve learned the hard way that checking my emails for 30 seconds often results in 30 minutes of replies. Dropping by the office for ten minutes almost always turns into an hour. Your day off isn’t a day off if it’s spent tinkering with job related stuff.
- Get In a Rut.
Mix up your routine! Keep things fresh! If you normally work out in the morning, work out after dinner! Days off can quickly become just as mundane and routine as your work day, and while you aren’t always in control of what happens at the office, you ARE in control of your day off. Keep it fresh. Keep it fun.
I hope you have a great week at work and an even better day off!