By Mary B. Mabry, CAPP
Recently, I forgot to cancel a day off time request when a personal trip did not happen. Faced with the dilemma of going through the hoops to cancel that time, I decided to take that day off even though it was mid-week, and I had nothing planned.
I decided that I would use that day to relax and unwind, but even when I try to relax, I wind up making appointments to schedule what I deem relaxing options, like getting my nails or hair done, or getting a massage, and usually overbooking or rushing around trying to get to those appointments on time. Realizing that I was always on a deadline through scheduling business and personal time management, I decided to do something a little different. On this day off, I decided I was not on a timetable, no schedule to adhere to, just do what I want, when I want and I have to say, I was surprised by the results.
I travel frequently due to attending most of the State and Regional Association Conferences and Tradeshows for the parking and mobility industry to represent my company. Attending the conferences is part of my position, which means that I am always on a schedule; plus, I need to be super organized, especially during the months of March through June and September to December. Therefore, I always try to find opportunities to reorient myself so that I don’t overbook or overwhelm myself with stressful situations that can be avoided.
I am an extra-extravert, which means I enjoy high-energy environments, meeting and interacting with others, and networking. I have a “service” heart, so I enjoy networking with others, introducing new acquaintances, and working with others to resolve or work through conflict management solutions. Unfortunately, I do have serious issues with FOMO (fear of missing out) from time to time, but I also realize that you can’t do it all, so don’t put yourself in those no-win situations.
By accident, I have a new plan that I think will work for many of you, whether you are an introvert or extrovert, or both.
- Schedule your day off and nothing else. Get up when you want and do what you want during that day.
- Think about doing something you enjoy, like shopping, gardening, baking, etc., then don’t think about what time of the day it is throughout that entire day.
- Eat when you feel hungry, take a nap when you feel like you need one, and just enjoy that day without any thought or action pulling you into a schedule.
- Once the day comes to an end, you can go back to your regular nighttime routine and, at that point, proceed with the scheduled actions you work out for the next day.
For me, it was a day of driving to all my favorite places to eat, shop, and just hang out, but as a note, I never needed that nap. I was super surprised that I felt peaceful, relaxed, and rejuvenated when I was ready for bed that night. I was ready to get back into the week and all those scheduled events that I enjoyed daily, but I felt at ease and super content. So much so, that I felt it was important to share this experience with all of you, and I plan on incorporating this regularly, even if it must be done on a weekend. The adage of “time is money” tends to haunt me on this, but I also think when our lives revolve so much around time, we just need a timeless day to find peacefulness, unwind, and catch a break.