Which day of the week is best to have off from work?
Let's obsess about weekly grinds. Are you looking to be more intentional about your work week? Do you have any flexibility in your line of work or with your employer on how to structure your work week? Can you afford to take a day off?
I was always brainwashed with the traditional five day (working way more than 9-5) mental model. It wasn't until recently, I had an opportunity to have a day off in the week if I worked more every other day in the week.
You will have to really think twice about which evil you prefer. While I tend to really enjoy slow burns over heavy lifts when it comes to accomplishing my pure interests (check out my habit tracker), I tend to be the exact opposite when it comes to my structured, paper-earning work.
I would much rather have harder days in the week if one of those days could be completely free to do whatever I want. For sure slow burns, or doing a little bit less work everyday, is much more sustainable intuitively. But the 100% day off is so exciting from a pure time management perspective that I can't let it go.
Before I had to commit to the decision, I really wanted to get some expert advice on this in the void of the internet. I was pretty disappointed that the best advice was somewhere around picking a Monday or Friday to get a three day weekend.
It is utterly shocking that the best arbitrage on time is the concept of a three day weekend.
The people I knew who had three day weekends actually never did anything special with them. They rarely took trips or purposed the three days for something extraordinary. Rather they were more likely to putter away the two day weekend as a three day weekend.
Your personal situation may dictate differently, but there are several reasons to consider Wednesday as the ideal day off in your traditional week.
Well written about through Laura Vanderkam's time management empire, you can get more time-rich by arbitraging the way you think about traditional hours in the week. For example, if you block out a night shift of protected family time at some part of the of the week while working more on the other days, you can plan for a deliberate, engaging activity instead of puttering every night away with the kids and television.
Similarly, I think that your Wednesdays could serve as a great time arbitrage spot in the week. Instead of the concept of the weekends being the time for leisure and quality time (which by the way if there is not a lot of intentionality in your week, you will eventually waste those away too), why can't Wednesdays be that time to enjoy it with the kids or with yourself?
If Wednesdays are going to be that 'look forward to time,' then it logistically, from an energy standpoint is at the right place in the week. If your job and family life are very stressful, just think about how great it would be to get the boost in energy midweek. If you subscribe to a three day weekend, you are really tail-ending all of your enjoyment. Experiencing true enjoyment mid week keeps you going in the days before.
If Wednesdays keep you going in the days before, what about the days after? From a pure energy conservation standpoint, it makes sense to give yourself a mid-week breather. It is just about the right time, especially if it is one of those weeks that you at risk of collapsing onto the floor. In an ideal month, maybe there won't be intentional time scheduled for self-care, relationships, or family on those days, but rather will be blank so that you can figure out if you can doze through the entire day if necessary. Sometimes it is absolutely necessary to do nothing.
While I am not a fan of slow burns in terms of paid with paper work, I think that the whole concept of giving yourself a Wednesday off is an act of moderation and somehow evens out a lot of things in the week. If I am getting absolutely drained by the time Wednesday arrives, and am consistently keeping the day blank (with subsequent puttering away with bad habits) then I know that there is something wrong in the week. Probably am too spent in either the workdays or using the weekends sub-optimally. Wednesdays off are allowing you to check your priorities and your overall energy state.
Now if you work in a more inflexible industry, then even the concept of blocking off a few hours every other Wednesday for your PTO could be an option. The point is to get more time-rich by building intention, moderation, and energy conservation into your week so you can get to all the things that matter to you.
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