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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Palmer

Random Tuesday

Sushi by the Sea on a Random Tuesday in April.

Random Tuesday. A few weeks ago, I took a random Tuesday off. REALLY off. I even set an out-of-office on my email. I never set an out-of-office. As a consultant, I pride myself on always being available and responsive.

The following week, my son took a random Tuesday off, and the following, a friend did the same. It wasn’t planned or coordinated. We all just needed a day to disconnect; not a sick day or a day filled with projects and appointments.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about our collective random Tuesdays and why – particularly now – they are so powerful to embrace. There is something about a midweek hookie day that feels decadent and rich. Unlike a +1 day to a weekend.

Everyone is working through and ignoring boundaries, not taking time off because of the restrictions of travel and choice. Workers are hoarding PTO for their break-free trip or using it for coverage of erratic caregiving duties. It feels wasteful to take a single day or feels like a single day is not enough, but I counter that the one day can improve your mental health, equilibrium, attitude, and stem burnout.

Clear the day … and do what you want – self-care, self-indulgence, and stillness help to make it a successful day.

Clear the day … and connect with something that has been missing – creativity, nature, curiosity, or a particular friend.

Clear the day … and revel in the fact that you are off when everyone else is working.

Clear the day … and be intentional about not thinking about work or deadlines or responsibility.

Clear the day … and hearken back to a snow day (or smog day if you grew up in LA) where it was an unexpected morning gift.

Clear the day … and truly disconnect from work.

[Public Service Announcement: One of my professional pet peeves is an out-of-office message that includes your phone number to text or call “in case something urgent comes up”. I maintain that no matter what your business or role is, you are ALLOWED to take a day off and not give the power of determining urgency to the person contacting you. I promise that if something is TRULY urgent, they will find your phone number, but more than likely it can wait, or someone else at your organization can triage the situation in your absence. Please do not include your phone number in your OOO.]

There are a million reasons you could come up with to NOT take an unscheduled day off. And the single most important reason to take it – YOU. In this time of mask-wearing, put on your oxygen mask first, take care of yourself, and find joy in a single perfect – and random – day off.

And by the way ... today is Tuesday.

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