That "Free-Day" Feeling


When the “beast from the East” brought us snow it led to many things being cancelled – trains, planes, meetings, social events etc. When something is unexpectedly cancelled we can feel disappointed but sometimes we experience the “free day” feeling. Not to be confused with that “Friday feeling” but they both feel good (smiley face).

That “free day” feeling is that feeling you get when someone says the training event or meeting tomorrow is cancelled and you get a “bonus” or “extra” day to catch up on your work.

You sigh a sigh of relief and relish the thought of getting back on top of things. You know what I mean. So I thought., “Why not design these into your work life?” Because I have noticed that even the most productive, efficient and disciplined people don’t get everything done every week. None of us are perfect.

My estimate is that each week people have a couple of hours of catching up to do to “truly stay on top” and feel great about their productivity. Over a month this will mount up to 1 days worth of work and you know how quickly work can mount up don’t you? So that’s why, a few years ago, I ran my “catch-up” experiment. Knowing each month I was at risk of being behind by 1 day I scheduled in a “catch up day” on the third Wednesday of every month. Why then? because for me that was a good time. But for you there might be a better time.

The rule I set for that day was that I booked nothing into it and protected it from others booking time in it. The “catch up” day provides the macro buffer of time I need to continually feel on top of things PLUS I get that “free day” feeling at least 12 times a year.

Because of the “beast from the East” I got a bonus “free day” today which has been my inspiration for this TIP.