How to Get The Most From Your Day Off

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My goal for my days off each week is to make them as relaxing, refreshing, and meaningful as possible. I’ve established a few guard rails to safeguard my days off (sometimes manically referred to as “The Precious” in a Golem-like tone) so I can enjoy them as much as possible. Here they are:

1. I sleep in as late as I want.
I used to be able to sleep in much later when I was in my twenties, which makes me feel old (next thing you know I’ll be wearing my pants up to my nipples and calling everyone “son”). No alarms. I get up when I feel like it.

2. I don’t turn my phone or computer on.
I’m on both of these so much it feels like work when I use them on my day off. There’s something about unplugging for a day that re-energizes me afterward. It was hard at first, but now I look forward to it like a dad who gets to cut the umbilical cord after his wife’s just delivered their baby (OK, maybe not that much, but you get the idea). Plus, there’s no chance of anybody being able to get a hold of me to answer any “quick” questions about work.

3. I spend extra time with God.
My day off (usually on Fridays) is my Sabbath. I like to read my Bible first thing. Then I take a walk to clear my head and connect with God in nature. This is always invigorating for me. Walking may not be your thing, but do something that helps you connect with God in a meaningful and personal way.

4. I schedule time with friends.
Any time I choose to spend time with someone on my day it’s with a friend or mentor that inspires, challenges, and pours into my soul. My favorite appointments are with some of my best friends these days. I look forward to them and guard them fiercely.

5. I don’t do any work.
Nada. Zero. Zilch. My days off are a 100% work free zone. I don’t listen to voicemail, check emails, have quick meetings, drop by the office, or anything like that. Whenever I make the mistake to enter into the work zone for any period of time on my day off it becomes a vortex that sucks more of my time then I think it will. Unless someone is dying, it can wait.

6. I laugh.
Sometimes this is reading a book, or catching up with TV on Netflix or Hulu Plus, or going to a movie. Regardless of the medium I make sure to do something that I’m looking forward to that will bring a smile to my face.

7. I spend more time with my wife.
One of the reasons I guard my day off so much is because it’s the one day my wife knows there won’t be anything else pulling for my attention.

8. I take time to reflect.
If I’m in the mood I’ll journal some thoughts I’ve had from the week at hand. Every so often I’ll review previous entries to see how God has been moving in my life. This isn’t a big structured thing, but it’s good for my soul every now and again.

9. I nap.
I try to catch up on some of the sleep I’ve lost from the week before. I work hard. I let my body get as much rest as it needs.

There’s lots of ways to enjoy your day off. Whatever you do with yours, make sure you get the rest you need. Having and keeping a sabbath goes a long way to keep you sane and keeping you from burning out.

Question: What do you like to do on your day off? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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3 comments

  1. Jeff,
    Thank you for all the great ideas! I’m a full-time volunteer Children’s Ministry Director and I work full-time improving schools. Lots of travel and hotels and literally no time to alone. Since the KidMin 2011 conference, I’ve made some significant changes to get my life back in balance. Now, thanks to you, I have some ideas to ensure a day of rest.

    Kimberly

    1. Thank you Kimberly. Your comment means the world to me. People like you, who do Children’s Ministry on top of a full-time family, full-time job, and full-time like are the true heroes. Thank you.

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