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How To Take A Proper Day Off

Day Off

Do you remember how you spent your recent day off? Did you cram it full of errands? Or spend it on the couch? Or – and this will prod a few guilty conscience – did you take surreptitious peeks at your work email?

According to management guru, Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach, a day off is defined as a 24-hour period from midnight-to-midnight with no phone calls, e-mails, correspondence, conversations and focused thinking about work.

But the uncomfortable truth is that we have forgotten how to take a real day off. How to truly let go of the daily grind and do what we want rather than what we have to do. Rest has become a concept that is alien to some and forgotten by others.

So woman with drive has put together a 10-step plan to help you make the most of your next day off in a way that you can return to work with a rested body and sharper mind.

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1. Schedule it in. Put your day off on your calendar like you would any other important meeting or client appointment. This will make it less likely that you will cancel on yourself.

2. Go public. Tell your colleagues and clients that you will not be available for the next 24-hours. Also schedule your automatic email response two hours before the end of the day so you are not staying late to reply any eleventh hour emails.

3. Do a mind dump. Write out a To Do list and have any important conversations before you leave the office so your mind does not turn back to work at any point over the next day.

4. Avoid a big night on the eve. It can be tempting to read for another hour or have one more glass of wine but stick to your evening routine so you wake up feeling refreshed and rested.

5. Prioritise your errands. It is very tempting to cross off every single postponed errand on your list but that could swallow up your entire day. Pick the most pressing ones and run them during low peak hours so you are done faster.

6. Surround yourself with silence. The office environment is full of noise whether it is chatter of colleagues or music from your headphones. Keep your surroundings quiet on your day off and notice the effect this has on your mind and body.

7. Have a plan. It need not be written in stone but having a few enjoyable activities planned throughout the day will prevent you from thinking about work or wasting an entire day.

8. Get moving. Netflix makes it so easy to sit in front of the TV for the whole day but you already sit all day at the office so do something different. Go for a walk or swim or turn up the music and dance alone. Do not pass up the chance to exercise on a day when you actually have time for it.

9. Remind yourself of the bigger picture. Like exercise, the other thing that usually falls off our radar is the act of giving back. Spend an hour or so during your day off to offer a helping hand where it is genuinely needed whether within your personal circle or the wider community.

10. Say no. It is funny how certain family members or friends assume that your day off equates time for them. So if you feel that their request for help stems from a sense of entitlement or if the task will consume your entire day, do not feel guilty about politely refusing.


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