One of my favorite things about working from home and being mostly self employed is the ability to take a personal day when I need it. I don’t generally have to ask permission; it’s up to me to move around appointments and assignments if I want to clear up an afternoon or an entire day smack in the middle of a work week. Even if you have a boss, chances are you can call in sick or schedule a personal day once in a while. But should you?
Absolutely! The occasional personal day reminds us that we are ultimately still in charge of our lives, no matter who signs our paychecks or makes the rules about what websites you can view using company resources. Playing hooky can also give a tired psyche a boost, helping to prevent burnout .
Are you due for a personal day?
1. You can’t remember the last time you did anything for yourself.
If the demands of work and family have you feeling like a 24-hour, full-service convenience station, it’s time to take a step back. Giving until it hurts, well, hurts – everyone. Overextending yourself isn’t good for anyone, including your kids, your spouse, and your boss. Carve out some time to give back to yourself.
2. Your next real day off is weeks away.
Maybe you’ve been working overtime, or maybe baseball games and family birthdays have taken over your weekend. Sometimes the perfect storm of a schedule demands that you take matters into your own hands and insert a day off where you can get it.
3. Your work is stagnant.
Are you going through the motions at the office? Can’t remember the last time you put forth a new idea or made significant progress on a long-term goal? It’s easy to fall into ruts in our careers; a day off can snap you out of it. Also, a little break in your routine might be just what you need to shake loose a little inspiration.
Ultimately, taking a personal day isn’t really about working less. It’s a chance to regroup and refresh so that you can be more creative and productive when you return to the real world. It’s also about making sure you don’t turn into the bitter office lady who snaps at all her co-workers.
Your turn: How did you spend your last personal day?