A Day Off

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about sleep and how it boosts productivity. For this week’s Freedom Friday, I would like to share another productivity booster some folks can’t imagine trying, even if their lives depended on it. Are you ready? It’s called a day off. Yeah, scary, isn’t it?

Plugged In
Plugged In

In some circles, the day off is an outdated relic that belongs on the trash heap. It gets in the way, wastes time, and is nothing more than a distraction.

I wish I had a penny for all the times I hear how we can become better at what we’re doing if we dedicate more time to what we’re doing. I’m here to tell you different. I’m here to say it’s okay to take a break. Everything will be there when you get back.

How does it work at our house?

Well, every Saturday I unplug from the internet to spend time with the family. This means you won’t find me posting or commenting on mine or anyone else’s blog. You won’t see me on Facebook or Twitter. And my email collects dust until Sunday morning. Saturdays is when I treat my family to a special meal, watch a couple of movies, visit friends and relatives, and typically relax doing nothing other than stare out the window, daydreaming. That last part happens more often than you think.

The Day Off
The Day Off

It’s a day we do what we don’t have enough time to do during the week. And I don’t mean chores.

So let’s go back to the productivity thing. How productive, really, is taking a day off every week? This question harkens back to my sleep post where I talk about time management experts encouraging folks to shorten their sleep cycles in order to gain a half-hour extra on their day to do things. I think I manage a convincing argument establishing the fallacy of that sort of thinking. That half-hour is not extra time to use for other things. That half-hour is for sleep.

Similarly, and speaking from my own standpoint, taking a day off enhances creativity and boosts energy levels. On a personal level, I mentally disconnect from life so I can replenish my reserves. By the time Sunday comes, I’m all set to tackle the week with new ideas and a healthy perspective.

There was a time I didn’t do that, and I used to have days run into each other like a continuous merry-go-round. Thankfully, that’s over. In all honesty, without wanting to sound pretentious, I find taking time off once a week to unplug from the internet and spend it with the family aids in a more balanced lifestyle.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale October 22.

Do you take a day off to unplug every week? If not, have you thought about it?

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16 thoughts on “A Day Off

  1. Wow, I hadn’t expected to feel horrified at, “Are you ready? It’s called a day off.” That says a lot about me I guess! I work Monday-Friday office hours in my actual job and any other time I’m not asleep I’m working online posting my own blog posts, commenting on others’ blog posts, tweeting or editing my husband books. A day off sounds like a foreign concept but you are right; “By the time Sunday comes, I’m all set to tackle the week with new ideas and a healthy perspective.” That makes so much sense, so I’m going to try and take a “day off” at some point. I think I’ll have to schedule it in!

  2. I didn’t think that made you sound pretentious at all! Taking breaks really is a healthy thing to do (in my opinion as well). It’s all a matter of DOING it. 🙂

  3. Great post, Jack. I try to do this but need a reminder like this every now and then… I fully intended to do it today but then I woke up early and headed straight for my e-mails.
    That’s it now, though, I’m disconnecting right now… well, maybe just give me 10 minutes or so…

  4. I would like to take a day off as what you had advise. However I just find it hard as living in this highly connected world, I guess we are so used to read our “news feed” daily from social media websites etc, that we didn’t realised we have already deeply attached to it.

    Nonetheless, is still a good advice, and I shall try to be more “discipline” to adhere to it. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  5. I’ve had several days lately where I grabbed a bottle of water and a book and sat outside reading…nothing else. No television, no music, no computer. It was very relaxing, and is needed once in awhile. Eventually I had to return to technology for school and such but it’s nice to know that when you need to escape, you can. Some people don’t possess that strength, I don’t think.

    Great post!

  6. Great plan for your weekend. We do not have a completely “unplug” day around our house but we do play multiple sections of our weekend for relaxing. Most weekends we split it up between the days. My job requires me to be availaible 24/7 so turning the phone off is not an option.

    I am going to share this piece with my wife and see if we can try picking a day to “refresh”.

    Thank you as always.

  7. Great post! I can so relate to days running into each other. Taking the time away from all the social stuff and concentrating on ones family is so important. Good advice you have to share here.

    Leslie

  8. I couldn’t agree more Jack. Presentee-ism is the worst thing that came out of the ’90’s. I had a colleague many years ago who, when I said I was off for a 2 week holiday, asked if I was looking for another job as he couldn’t think of another reason why I’d be away so long. I counted to 10 and walked away from him.
    It has been shown time and time again that our best attention span is 20 minutes – with the youth of today and their tweets, etc, it’s probably down to 5 minutes – the point is to know your real limits. Now I work smart and almost always have a 3 day weekend on which I do what I want to do. And it works!

  9. Great post, Jack. I unplug frequently, about every eight to ten days. This is great time for refuelling. When on vacation I might even be unplugged for a week. This does not mean that I do not collect stuff for my blogs and/or stories. It is quality time for travelling with my husband, visiting concerts, relaxing, and – being inspired.

  10. I am honestly trying to do that too but sometimes I take the odd picture and post it on FB. I need Sunday off rather than Sat but both would be awesome.

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