free days

I’ve written previously about what I perceive to be a bad habit of mine: instead of undulating between periods of stress and recovery, I tend to float along on an even keel. Jim Loehr calls this bad habit linearity in his book The Power of Full Engagement. I basically float along in three ways:

  • I tend to not take breaks throughout the workday
  • I string together 3-4 nights of bad sleep throughout the workweek
  • I tend to do some sort of work or thinking about work on the weekends

…until I hit the wall, of course.

After a few days at my first Strategic Coach workshop, I was introduced to the Entrepreneurial Time System. It’s a tool that will surely provide some help on that third issue above – my tendency to take very few days fully unplugged.

They call unplugged days Free Days.

In the Time System—designed specifically for high-achieving entrepreneurs—Free Days come first. They hold this place of importance because they’re a prerequisite for periods of high achievement.

Think of an investment model: You’re investing in your most important asset—you. This does run contrary to most thinking, where you work until you’re exhausted and then take a weekend off or go on vacation because you think you “deserve” it!

Doesn’t it make more sense to take rejuvenating Free Days before a period that you know will need your best thinking and action? The skill of taking great Free Days is developed over a period of years, but each step will produce immediate results. The big payoff for developing this skill is rejuvenation on all levels: physical, mental, emotional,
spiritual, creative, and visionary.

My struggle with this lies in the rejuvenation. I usually have no problem unplugging from my day job, but I usually fill all weekends with stuff that drains me just as much as the workweek does. Without the rejuvenation, I feel reactive and low on energy when Monday rolls around.