Day Off Disciplines

Jeff  —  July 2, 2010 — 9 Comments

Friday is my day off every week. It is the day that I literally unplug from my everyday routine and just rest. It is the day when the Calendar and To Do apps on my phone go unopened. There is no agenda on this day. On my day off I try to follow a few specific disciplines. When I follow these disciplines I find that I am refreshed, happier, and more fun to be around. So what exactly do I do? Here are a few disciplines that I try to follow

I don’t set my alarm

There is something about going to bed knowing that you do not have to get up at a certain time. I wake up when I wake up! Now that being said, I do not exactly wake up when I want to. My daughter Madelynn lets me know when it is time for me to wake up. Nonetheless, I still wake up later than I would if I were to set my alarm.

I don’t check my email

I try very hard every day to respond to messages that I need to respond to and delete the ones that require no response. This means that by the end of the week my inbox is pretty manageable and I do not leave any unread messages. On Thursday night I go through my inbox and do my best to empty it. After I do that and I know that there is nothing urgent I need to respond to, I close my email on my computer and do not open it again until Saturday. I also disable the email notifications on my phone so that I do not see how many messages I have waiting for me. I feel that if I check my email my mind is going to be thinking about something that could wait until Saturday. Not checking my email on Friday’s is extremely refreshing for me!

I don’t answer my phone

If I see a call coming in that is work related I do not answer it. There have been times when I have answered the call. I have almost always regretted this because most of the time it is something that could wait until Saturday. If I am on call for that week I answer the emergency phone. However, I am not on call every week and emergencies do not happen all of the time. This is the exception. I have found it best to just not answer the phone.

I workout

I love working out on Friday’s! I feel less rushed than I do during the week and after I am done I feel much better and ready for the day. This also gives me some room so that I can have a little Friday night dessert if I want to!

I take my wife out on a date

Friday night is date night for my wife and I. Now I will admit that this discipline can be harder for me to practice. Not because I do not want to spend time with my wife…no that’s not it. I can tend to struggle with creativity in this area. Sometimes I am just tired and I am at a loss for what to do. I am challenging myself to get better in this discipline. Every Friday though, Rochelle and I spend time together. Sometimes it is going out for dinner and getting some coffee. Other times it is simply relaxing at home. Either way we are spending time together.

These are a few of the disciplines I try to practice during my day off. I would be lying if I said that I succeeded at these 100% of the time. These are disciplines that I continue to work on. I have found that when I practice these things I am a better husband, father, pastor, and co-worker. On the other hand, when I do not I get irritable and I am less productive. In order for me to stay effective for the long haul these are things that I must practice.

I would suggest that anybody in any line of work should have a day off or a Sabbath where they are able to unwind and relax. We live in such a fast paced world. It is up to us to slow it down on a weekly basis.

I hope this challenges you in some way. What do you think about these things? What do you do on your day off? Do you have other disciplines that you have found helpful? What are they?