Looking for some productive things to do on your day off? Then you’re in the right place.
In this article, we’re going to dive into some simple, productive actions that you can take to make the most of your brief break from work.
I know that it’s tempting to spend your day in full couch potato mode, but this defeats the purpose of taking a day off in the first place.
You want to return to work rejuvenated and refreshed, and hours of mindless behavior will only deplete your energy levels even further.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t relax, but there’s a big difference between recharging your batteries and disconnecting them completely.
So without further ado, let’s get into this list of productive things to do on your day off from work.
12 Productive Things To Do On Your Day Off
Below you’ll find a list of productive things to do that fall under a variety of categories.
Be sure to take note if any of these behaviors particularly resonate with you. That way the next time you have a day off, you’re armed with a plan for making the most of it.
Let’s dive in!
#1: Install A Productivity Tool (Freedom)
When the time comes to sit down and focus on work, do you find yourself struggling to avoid distractions?
If so, then a tool like Freedom is perfect for optimizing your productivity. Freedom is a website blocker that makes it impossible to access distracting websites while you’re working.
Once it’s installed onto your computer, you can create a list of websites that you don’t want to access during focused work sessions. From there, you simply decide how long your work session to be and then start the timer.
Freedom will block your access to distracting websites until the timer runs out. So instead of relying on willpower to avoid getting distracted (which never works), you’ll simply be forced to focus because it’s your only option.
The primary benefit of this tool is simple — it helps you train your brain to work for long periods of time without getting distracted.
And in a world where attention spans are shorter than ever, this is one of the most valuable skills that you can develop.
So if you want to level up your focus on your day off, give Freedom a try! It’s not a free tool, but it’s certainly worth the investment considering their yearly plan only comes out $3.99 per month (they also have a monthly option of $8.99/month)
#2: Dig Into An Online Course
Another one of the most productive things to do on your day off is to dive into an online course that covers something you’re trying to learn more about.
It’s tough to juggle self-education with the daily grind of your 9-5. So if you’re free from work obligations for the day, then this is a perfect opportunity to focus on self-education.
Maybe you’re passionate about cooking and want to learn about various ways to level up your skills in the kitchen.
Or maybe you have a side hustle that involves graphic design and you’re trying to learn software that will help you create eye-popping graphics.
We all have something that we’re trying to get better at. And in my opinion, the best platform for honing and developing a variety of skills is Skillshare.
Skillshare is an online education platform that contains a library of courses about pretty much every topic you can think of — web design, cooking, sales, finances, productivity, and much more.
#3: Go On A Morning Walk
So you’ve just rolled out of bed wanting to be productive on your day off, and you’re wondering what to do first.
Well, research says that one of the most productive things to do in the morning is to get some sun in your eyes.
Viewing sunlight first thing in the morning is very beneficial for your brain. It actually triggers the release of dopamine, which is the neurotransmitter responsible for mood, motivation, drive, and pursuit.
This early morning dopamine release ensures that you start the day energized and motivated as opposed to tired and sluggish.
This boost in energy isn’t temporary either. Here’s Stanford neuroscientist Andrew Huberman talking about the long-lasting impact of this powerful morning habit.
“There are thousands of peer-reviewed studies showing that light viewing early in the day is the most powerful stimulus for wakefulness throughout the day, and that it has a powerful positive impact on your ability to fall and stay asleep at night.”
Need I say more?
#4: Start Planning Your Dream Vacation
Is there a trip that you’ve been wanting to take, but haven’t really had the time to plan? Well, then your day off is a perfect time to start putting an itinerary together.
Planning a vacation isn’t the most exciting thing to do, but it’s gotta get done if that ideal getaway you have in mind is ever going to come to fruition.
So if you’ve been putting this off, start finalizing the logistics of your next escape from work and give yourself something exciting to look forward to.
#5: Do That Thing You’ve Been Putting Off
Another one of the most productive things to do on your day off is to finally knock out that big task that’s been collecting dust on your to-do list.
You know exactly what I’m talking about too — the task that you’ve been procrastinating on for weeks or even months because you just don’t feel like doing it.
Maybe it’s working on a plan to get out of debt, or spending a few hours to get your blog up and running, or doing some spring cleaning around the house.
Whatever it is, it’s time for a little less talk and a little more action.
If lack of motivation is what’s preventing you from making forward progress, then use the five minute rule to get things moving in the right direction.
Commit to working on the task you’re avoiding for just five minutes. Most of the time, that initial burst of forward momentum will motivate you to keep going.
(Feel free to apply this as a general rule to beat procrastination as well)
#6: Create A New Habit Plan
If you’re struggling to build a new habit, it’s likely for one of two reasons:
- Reason #1: You don’t have a plan for making it stick and you’re relying on pure self-discipline to show up every day.
- Reason #2: You have a plan, but your goals are too lofty which is why you find it difficult to achieve consistency.
My guess is that most of you fall into group two — you have a daily goal for your new habit, but it’s a bit too lofty for you to achieve daily consistency.
If that’s the case, then let’s talk about one of the most productive things to do on your day off — crafting a 4 week plan to make your habits stick once and for all.
The guiding principle of this plan is mastering the first 30 days. If you engage in a specific behavior every day for a month, it’s almost inevitable that behavior will become a habit.
Start by identifying the habit you want to build. As you look at your long-term goals, ask yourself this question; What’s the one daily habit that will all but guarantee that I achieve this goal?
Once you’ve got the daily habit, scale it down to something that you can realistically accomplish every single day.
If you’re trying to build a daily walking habit, that might mean committing to 50 steps per day. If you’re trying to build a daily meditation habit, that might mean committing to just 60 seconds per day.
You know you’re on the right track when you look at your daily target and think, “How will doing this every day ever make a difference?”
Now when it comes to implementation, here’s what a sample four week habit plan might look like for a daily meditation:
- Week 1: One minute of meditation every morning.
- Week 2: Two minutes of meditation every morning.
- Week 3: Four minutes of meditation every morning
- Week 4: Six minutes of meditation every morning
As you can see, the formula for success is pretty simple — start with a tiny behavior that takes no willpower, and then gradually increase the difficulty.
If you adopt this framework into your life, you should have a much easier time making new behaviors stick.
#7: Spend Time Journaling
Journaling is one of the most productive things to do on your day off if you want to assess the current trajectory of your life.
In this 2008 study, researchers at the University Of Nebraska wanted to find out if a journaling practice could increase self efficacy. If you’re unfamiliar with the term self-efficacy, it refers to one’s belief in their ability to act in ways that are in alignment with their goals.
After three months, all study participants had shown significant increases in self-efficacy regardless of the type of journaling they engaged in.
Hundreds of studies similar to this one have shown that journaling can dampen the symptoms of anxiety/depression, reduce stress, and improve problem solving skills.
So if you want to spend time journaling today, here are a few productive prompts that you can start with:
- Are my current actions moving me towards my goals? Why or why not?
- If I had a magic wand and could design my ideal life five years from now, what would it look like?
- Which bad habits are not serving my goals? And what are some creative solutions to getting rid of them?
- Which area of my life is causing me the most unhappiness, and how can I start fixing it?
These are some great prompts that will really force you to take a magnifying glass to your life.
#8: Make Time For Exercise
Between juggling work responsibilities and personal obligations, it can be difficult to find time to prioritize physical fitness.
Thousands of studies have shown that weekly exercise is one of the best things that we can do for our body and mind.
Among the many physical and mental benefits include:
- Reduced risk of anxiety/depression
- Reduced stress
- Improved sleep
- Improved mood
- Increases in overall energy levels
- Boosts to focus and concentration
So if you’re looking for productive things to do on your day off, engaging in some form of cardiovascular exercise for 30-45 minutes is a great option.
Go play tennis with a friend. Swim laps at your local pool. Walk to the closest coffee shop near you. Pick up heavy weights. Try some yoga poses.
Anything that gets your blood flowing will have a net positive impact on your day.
#9: Engage In Your Favorite Hobby
We all need hobbies that take our mind off the daily chaos of life. Research actually shows that engaging in leisurely activity reduces stress, improves our mood, and makes us less likely to suffer from anxiety/depression.
So as you’re thinking of productive things to do on your day off, consider spending 30-60 minutes on your favorite hobby.
Maybe that means you pick up a paintbrush for an hour. Maybe that means grabbing your golf clubs and then heading to the course for a quick nine.
Anything that’s a little challenging and deeply enjoyable at the same time is a perfect way to recharge your batteries for tomorrow.
#10: Work On Your Side Hustle
If you have a side hustle that you genuinely enjoy, then your day off is a golden opportunity to get after it.
I love the feeling of waking up on a day off and knowing that I can dedicate as much time as I want to working on this blog.
Most of the time, it doesn’t really feel like work. It just feels like I’m doing something that I inherently enjoy and getting rewarded for it.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, then take advantage of the 24 hours in front of you. Identify three side hustle related tasks that you want to accomplish today, and then get to work!
#11: Catch Up With Friends
Since 1938, there’s been an ongoing study out of Harvard University which has tried to answer one poignant question:
What’s the #1 predictor that someone will live a happy, fulfilling life?
In a 2016 TED Talk, Robert Waldinger (the current leader of the study), got up on stage and shared the conclusion that’s come from tracking the lives of thousands of people:
“Good personal relationships keep us happier and healthier, period. The lessons we learned about happiness didn’t involve money, or fame, or working harder. Close personal relationships were the primary factor that determined overall life satisfaction.”
So if you’ve been neglecting your social life due to work obligations, consider setting some time aside to connect with the people you care about.
You don’t need to organize a lavish dinner party at your place (unless you really want to). Small things like grabbing a coffee with a friend, or even catching up with someone over the phone can be just as rewarding.
Any action that strengthens your personal relationships represents a step towards a happier, healthier you.
#12: Take Some Time To Organize
Well, we’ve come to the final suggestion on this list of productive things to do on your day off.
While you’re still here, do me a favor and look around your house.
Is it pristinely clean with everything sitting exactly where it should be? Or does it look like the aftermath of a college fraternity party?
If you resonated more with the second statement, then your day off is a perfect time to set your house in order.
I’m pretty sure I can speak for everyone when I say that we all feel better when our living space is clean and organized. It just feels nice to live, work, and eat in a home/apartment that’s easy on the eyes.
And let’s be honest, it’s a pretty kick-ass feeling to sit back and admire your work after revamping your living space.
How Can I Be Productive On A Day Off?
Being productive on your day off is about forward momentum. And contrary to popular belief, forward momentum isn’t all about hustling and grinding.
If you want to spend your day off grinding on your side hustle, then that’s perfectly fine.
If you want to spend your day off by going on a morning walk and then grabbing lunch with friends before heading to a comedy show in the evening, that’s fine too.
What you consider forward momentum will be different than someone else because we all find enjoyment in different things.
As long as you’re being intentional with your time, you’re on your way to having a productive day off.
The one thing you want to avoid is excess mindless behavior. Spending your entire day scrolling social media, binge-watching Netflix, and lounging around the house isn’t rejuvenating you at all.
These are just escape behaviors that prevent you from doing things you actually want to be doing. And when you look back on a day filled with mindless behavior, you’re likely gonna wish you spent your day off in a different manner.
Final Thoughts On Productive Things To Do On Your Day Off
Well, that wraps up this list of productive things to do on your day off!
The goal of time off is to recharge, and mindless behavior does not help you accomplish this goal.
So before you go full couch potato on your next day off, consider engaging in some of the behaviors that we covered on this list.
They’re all much more beneficial for your body and mind than binge-watching your favorite Netflix show all day.
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