5 Ways You Can Still Be Productive on Your Day Off

Holiday? Personal day? Doesn't matter! You have a long-awaited day off from work, and your goal is to have as productive a day as possible. Since personal days are hard to come by—especially for a newly hired twentysomething—take this opportunity to devote some attention to parts of your personal life that could use some care. Here are some great ways to utilize your time off and return to work feeling recharged. 

  1. 1. Start your day with some exercise

    person kneels to tie their running shoes. they are wearing a coat and a hat and appear to be on a bridge

    Exercising is a great way to begin a day, in whatever form of physical movement feels comfortable for you. Hitting the gym early in the morning—and getting to avoid the 5 o’clock rush—is a treat, or you could try a new form of movement you’ve been meaning to, like early morning yoga, a pilates class or a simple at-home stretch. 

    Recent grad Maria Fegeley loves heading outside on a day off. “Whether it be for a walk or a bike ride, I always make sure to get outside and not too caught up in emails or work I’m missing,” she says. Moving your body in a meaningful way will help set a healthy mindset for the day ahead.

  2. 2. Take care of pesky errands in the morning

    a woman sits in a red shopping cart in the middle of a store

    On your personal day, try to tackle your errands to avoid having to squeeze them in over the week. Plan your Target, grocery store and bank run for mid-morning when these locations are quietest. Check your to-dos off your list so they won’t become stressors later in the week. See if the salon can fit you in, so you stop putting off that manicure or haircut. Just don’t let errands take up your whole day–this is your day off, after all, and you want to enjoy yourself and do things you usually don’t during your workweek. 

  3. 3. Catch up with the ones you love

    woman in a white shirt holding her cell phone in front of her

    When the work calendar is overflowing with projects, trips, and meetings, it’s easy to lose touch with the people who mean most to you. Catching up with loved ones nurtures your relationships and helps practice needed self-care during your busy week. 

    Schedule some time on a day off to reach out to a parent, sibling, or someone else you love and who would love to hear from you. Or, pre-plan a personal day with friends to spend some much needed time together. It will soothe your soul, and their's.

  4. 4. Take time to cook and meal-prep

    a woman leans over a pan of food, taste-testing it

    Cooking is something that always eases my mind and makes me feel incredibly productive, but during the workweek, I find it so much easier to reach for good ol’ DoorDash instead and order a quesadilla (that will arrive in 50-70 minutes). Take advantage of a day off to cook not just for that day, but to prep some meals for the remainder of the week. 

    Maria's first move on a day off is the grocery store. “Knowing I have all I need to meal prep puts me at ease,” she says. Grill a few pieces of chicken, make a batch of rice or pasta, or any other food that makes you feel your best. Now you’re prepped for your week, and you did something that lets your mind rest for a while.

  5. 5. Remember to treat yourself and unwind 

    person sitting at the edge of a bed with an open book in their lap and a cup of coffee in hand

    It is your day off, after all! Although it is important to make your time off as productive as it can be, and that alone will eliminate some stress, giving yourself some love is one of the most productive things you could do with your day. You’ll be in a clear place to continue with the workweek after spending some time with yourself. 

    Crack open or book or watch a show you love. Get outside. Take an extra-long shower. Do anything else that calms and refreshes you. Try your best not to spend the day glued to your many devices or worrying about what you missed at work, as that will still be there after your personal day ends. Utilize your day to silence the outside noise as much as you can.

Use these tips to make the most of your day off, and take care of your busy schedule alongside your mind and body.