10 reasons to program in a lazy day each week

Graeme Richards by Graeme Richards | December 27, 2023, 8:11 am

There’s a big difference between being productive every single day and allowing yourself some downtime.

Let’s talk about lazy days. These are not just about binge-watching Netflix or sleeping in, but using your time in a way that truly replenishes your energy.

Programming in a lazy day each week is not about being unproductive, but rather about choosing to rest and rejuvenate. It’s about realizing that a well-rested mind can be more creative, focused, and efficient.

Here are 10 reasons why you should consider incorporating a lazy day into your weekly schedule. This isn’t about promoting laziness, but about understanding the value of taking a break. Let’s dive in!

1) Boosts creativity

Here’s something to ponder about: creativity doesn’t thrive in constant hustle.

In fact, your best ideas often come when you’re not actively trying to solve problems, but when you’re in a relaxed state of mind. Think about it, haven’t you had some great ideas while taking a shower or going for a leisurely walk?

This is because when your mind is relaxed, it’s free to wander and make connections that it wouldn’t otherwise. It’s why companies like Google and 3M encourage their employees to spend a portion of their time on projects of their own choosing.

So, programming a lazy day into your week isn’t just about resting. It can also be a strategic move to boost your creativity and come up with innovative solutions that you might not have thought of during your regular workdays.

Again, this isn’t an excuse for slacking off, but an opportunity to let your mind recharge and think outside the box. So go ahead, take that lazy day and see how it sparks your creativity!

2) Reduces stress

Let me share a personal story for this one.

A few years ago, I was working a high-stress job. Deadlines were constant and I was always scrambling to get things done. I prided myself on being able to handle it all. But over time, I started to feel burnt out. My productivity dipped and I found myself less enthusiastic about work I used to love.

In an attempt to regain control, I decided to program a lazy day into my week. No work, no emails, just downtime for myself. Initially, I felt guilty about ‘wasting’ a day but soon, I noticed a change.

My stress levels significantly dropped and I felt more equipped to handle work pressures during the rest of the week. Having that one day to myself helped me manage my stress and regain my passion for work.

This is why I believe in the power of a lazy day. It’s not just about relaxation but also about maintaining mental health and ensuring you’re not constantly under stress. It’s about recognizing that you are human and that you need time for yourself too.

3) Improves productivity

Contrary to what you might think, working non-stop doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. Instead, research shows that taking regular breaks can actually increase productivity.

A study conducted by the University of Illinois found that brief diversions from a task can dramatically improve one’s ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods.

Programming a lazy day into your week acts as this diversion, giving your mind the break it needs to recharge and refocus. This means that when you return to work, you’re more likely to be productive and efficient in tackling your tasks.

So, in a sense, taking a lazy day isn’t counterproductive at all. Instead, it might just be the secret to achieving more in less time!

4) Enhances physical health

The benefits of programming a lazy day each week aren’t just mental, they’re physical too.

Our bodies aren’t designed to be on the go constantly. Just like how a car needs regular maintenance to keep running smoothly, our bodies need downtime to repair and rejuvenate.

During rest, especially sleep, our bodies carry out essential maintenance work. This includes everything from muscle repair to the release of growth hormones.

By incorporating a lazy day into your week, you’re giving your body the time it needs to carry out these essential processes. This can lead to improved physical health and reduced risk of burnout, illnesses and injuries.

So, while it might feel counterintuitive to take a break when there’s work to be done, remember that your health is your greatest asset. And sometimes, the best thing you can do for your health is to rest.

5) Nurtures relationships

Here’s something we often overlook: our relationships. In the hustle and bustle of life, we sometimes forget to spend quality time with those who matter most to us.

Programming a lazy day into your week can help you reconnect with your loved ones. Whether it’s a day out with your partner, playing games with your kids, or catching up with old friends, these moments nurture our relationships and create lasting memories.

Remember, while work is important, it’s the relationships we build that truly enrich our lives. So, take a lazy day to show appreciation to the people in your life – it can make a world of difference not just for them, but for you too.

6) Promotes self-love

In a world that often equates busyness with success, it’s easy to forget the importance of self-love. But here’s a gentle reminder: You matter. Your well-being matters.

Programming a lazy day each week is a form of self-love. It’s about respecting your own limits and understanding that you are not a machine. It’s about acknowledging that it’s okay to rest, to do things you enjoy, and to just be.

Taking time for yourself isn’t selfish, it’s necessary. And in the long run, it can lead to increased happiness, better mental health, and a more balanced life.

So, give yourself permission to have a lazy day. You deserve it.

7) Offers perspective

During a particularly challenging time in my life, I found myself overwhelmed with tasks and responsibilities. I was so engrossed in the demands of the moment that I lost sight of the bigger picture.

Then, I started programming a lazy day into my week. It was during these moments of pause, when the noise of daily life quieted down, that I gained perspective.

I began to realize that many of the things I was stressing over were not as critical as they seemed. I understood that it’s okay to not have everything figured out and it’s okay to take things slow sometimes.

Having a lazy day each week helped me see things from a different angle and readjust my priorities. It’s amazing how stepping back can provide clarity and help you focus on what truly matters.

8) Encourages work-life balance

In our quest for success, it’s easy to blur the lines between work and personal life. But achieving a healthy work-life balance is crucial for overall well-being.

Programming a lazy day into your week is a practical step towards this balance. It’s a day where work emails, calls, and responsibilities are set aside. It’s a day to indulge in hobbies, enjoy leisure activities, or simply do nothing at all.

A good work-life balance can lead to increased satisfaction, better health, and enhanced productivity at work. So, while it might seem like you’re taking a step back from work, in reality, you’re creating a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle.

10) Fosters personal growth

Perhaps the most significant benefit of programming a lazy day each week is the opportunity for personal growth. It’s a chance to reflect, to learn, and to grow.

In the silence and tranquility of a lazy day, you can engage in self-reflection, evaluate your goals, and plan for the future. You can read a book that expands your knowledge or learn a new skill that piques your interest.

Personal growth isn’t just about achieving more; it’s about becoming more. And sometimes, becoming more requires us to pause, to rest, and to simply be.

So, take that lazy day. Grow. Flourish. Become the best version of yourself.

Final thoughts: The power of rest

The notion of constant productivity has been deeply ingrained in our society. We’re often led to believe that busyness equates to productivity and success. But as we’ve discussed, this isn’t always the case.

Integrating a lazy day into your week is not about promoting idleness, but about recognizing the importance of rest and rejuvenation. It’s about acknowledging that, just as our bodies need sleep to function effectively, our minds need downtime to foster creativity, focus, and overall well-being.

Remember, being busy doesn’t necessarily mean being productive. Rest isn’t a sign of weakness or laziness. It’s a vital part of maintaining our physical health, nurturing our relationships, enhancing our productivity, and promoting personal growth.

So, as you navigate through the hustle and bustle of life, don’t forget to schedule in that lazy day. It might just be the key to a healthier, happier, and more balanced life.