I took a day off in the middle of the week.

It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

As someone who is trying to teach people about the value of working intentionally, instead of burning out due to overwork, this is something I’d personally wanted to try for a long time.

People usually take Sundays off or the weekend, maybe.

Why not a Tuesday or a Wednesday? Especially if you’re self-employed and don’t have a boss to answer to, this may be something you’d want to try as well.

I didn’t really plan for it but I just woke up on Wednesday morning one week and looked at my calendar for the day. Apart from one early morning scheduled client session I had nothing else planned.Why not take the rest of the day off?

So I did just that.

I turned off my laptop, plugged in my phone in the charging docket and settled down with a good book to pass my time.

Mid afternoon saw me pottering around the house, dusting cabinets and putting books away in their shelves. My community library had asked if we had any books to donate so I used my time to pick out as well as catalogue books for donation.

Later in the day I went for a longer and more relaxing walk than usual, wound up the evening with a family movie and retired to bed after a light dinner.

It was, quite simply, a splendid way to spend a Wednesday.

Benefits of taking time off

As a result, I woke up on Thursday with more energy than I’d bargained for. The even bigger benefit was that I noticed how I was much clearer in my head about focusing on the work that mattered.

An unexpected benefit was how I actually had extra time this Thursday with more focus to finish two things in under an hour: Write my newsletter for the week and write out this article too!

Most of us go through the motions when it comes to work days. There’s a sense of drudgery and monotony that sets in. We don’t really do anything to consciously change the status quo either.

Learn to take time off and do it often

Over the past 10 months, here are some things I’ve learnt about being more intentional with our time and our energy:

  1. Focus on things that build up your energy and leave you feeling satisfied
  2. If there are things that are important but they tend to drain you, assign those tasks to the time of day when you are most likely to be awake and active.
  3. Incorporate movement into your day. While exercise is something I would personally recommend to everyone, even something as simple as a gentle stroll every evening or morning is enough to release those endorphins that keep you happy.
  4. Meditate everyday. As of today, I’ve managed to complete 18 consecutive days of meditation. I didn’t originally think I could do that but this simple habit (thanks to Insight Timer) has helped keep me grounded in what matters every morning and sets the tone for the rest of the day.
  5. Do more things that are NOT business-related. I can’t emphasise this enough. We need to step back from our work and our business often if we are to be better at them. Read more books, maybe play with your kids or pets and talk to your friends and family over the phone to set that perspective.
  • Bonus: Take a day off in the middle of the week. I guarantee that your work, your clients, your deadlines will all be waiting for you when you come back. But your body, mind and spirit will thank you for that much-needed break from the routine.

Woman lying on a couch with a hat covering her face

Shailaja V

I’m a blog, social media and content coach with over 13 years of writing, blogging and social media experience.

Join my free weekly newsletter that 1500+ creators read every Friday.