When’s the last time you heard someone talk about killing time?
Probably some time ago. Everyone’s so scheduled, so on-deadline, so harried and busy these days — even during peak vacation times like now — there’s little time left to burn. Hence, all the Twitter memes about barely making it to Friday. And OMG, is it Monday already?
Fact is, everyone needs breaks. But now we know some times are better than others for you to take off.
Conventional wisdom holds that three-day weekends are the best. Always seem special. Longer laid-back or home chore time. Enough time to travel perhaps. A shorter work week immediately following.
But, it turns out, Monday and Friday are not the best extra time to take off. Neither are Tuesday and Thursday.
The best extra day to lay back, do what you want including nothing, reward yourself with extra You-Time is Wednesday. Some new science actually shows you will feel more refreshed with a mid-week break.
Just like some people are night owls and some are morning people, we all have a biological rhythm, one that’s developed through repetition like a five-day work week and a two-day weekend. Over time, that five-and-two-day pace comes to have an out-sized psychological influence on our mind.
Then comes Monday, which isn’t really different from any other workday but seems worse because it jars us out of our more relaxed weekend rhythm, one that we were able to set ourselves.
Some businesses have found increased production and employee satisfaction not necessarily from a Wednesday off, but a work-from-home Wednesday, which breaks up that longer five straight office work day rhythm.
You start the week knowing there’s a return to your own rhythm in only two days, even if it’s still work but work at a different place and pace. That changes your perspective.
Dawna Ballard, a communications professor at the University of Texas, puts it this way:
You start the week knowing, I only have two days on this rhythm and then I get back to mine. There’s a greater sense of calm and control.