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11 Tips to Get the Most From Your Days Off | Scott H Young

Plan Ahead

Some people do fine with unstructured days off, but others can better enjoy themselves when they plan fun things to do even when they don’t follow them perfectly.

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11 Tips to Get the Most From Your Days Off | Scott H Young

11 Tips to Get the Most From Your Days Off | Scott H Young

https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2007/12/03/11-tips-to-get-the-most-from-your-days-off/

scotthyoung.com

12

Key Ideas

The Importance Of a Proper Work Break

The need to relax and take a break from work is a requirement for your body. But, studies show people are happier at work–even while claiming they rather be at home.

The contradiction may be a consequence of a lack of thought into how days off are spent. Leisure, if no thought is applied, often ends up being wasted in low-reward thoughtless activity.

Divide Your Work And Leisure Time

Not keeping them separate tends to decrease performance in both. Working on your days off, your body starts being lazy during your workday to compensate.

Committing to work only during a certain time period helps to combat the tendency to mix work and pleasure.

Plan Ahead

Some people do fine with unstructured days off, but others can better enjoy themselves when they plan fun things to do even when they don’t follow them perfectly.

Keep Your Bookshelf Full

If you enjoy reading, reading provides an easy way to avoid wasting your days off. If you don’t enjoy reading, that’s okay too–days off are about relaxing, not productivity.

Keep An Events Calendar

Keep a calendar that can store potential activities you might like to take part in. Unless you need to buy tickets well in advance, this planning ensures you’ll always have options for interesting things to do.

Join Clubs And Classes

Try ones for things you’ve always wanted to try instead of the academic ones. Learning without pressure can be relaxing as it takes your mind off results and onto process.

Have a Slow Day

Stop your time management routine for a day and aim to be as slow as possible.

Wake up early and spend an hour cooking breakfast, two hours reading and walk everywhere instead of driving. It can be refreshing to aim for the opposite of a typically busy lifestyle.

Meditate

Meditation doesn’t need to be long and uncomfortable, it may just mean having some extra time with your thoughts. 

Sort out all those ideas that have been jumping around in your head but you haven’t had time to think through.

Look At The Big Picture

Spend a day reviewing your life’s trajectory to inject new energy into goals that might otherwise lose motivation over time.

Check what’s going well and what isn’t? Plan, set big goals or adapt your approach. 

Connect

Contact people you haven’t talked to in a few months. Call up old friends and drop people messages to meet up.

Don’t let your relationships wither and die because you are too busy to invest your time.

Work Hard, Play Hard

Make your most intense workday the one before your day off

This gives you an incentive to complete more and work harder, knowing you have the entire next day to relax.

Half And Quarter-Day Vacations

If your schedule won’t allow a complete day off, try to squeeze in either a half or quarter day vacation in.

This is better than trying to squeeze in break times every few minutes to compensate for a lack of time off.

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Pacing yourself

Trying to get work done uses the same principle as running: You have to pace yourself. Runners that sprint at the beginning will be tired out long before they reach the finish line.

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The principle behind the To-Do List
  • At the end of the week, write a list with everything you want to get done.
  • At the end of the day, write a list containing what parts of that weekly list you want to be finished with tomorrow.

After you finish your daily list, you don't work on more projects or tasks. After you complete the weekly list, you're done for the week.

Advantages of using a WD system
  • A WD (Weekly/Daily) system manages your energy. You will get a maximum of work done while leaving yourself time to relax.
  • A WD system stops procrastination because your big projects become bite-sized tasks.
  • A WD system makes you proactive. With a bigger picture in mind, it's easier to put in the important but not urgent tasks.
  • A WD system keeps you from burning out since you only have to focus on the next bite.

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“Most people have no clue what they are doing with their time but still complain that they don’t have enough.”..."

Grant Cardone

“When the goal is merely to ‘get through’ the day as quickly as possible, life will pass full of regrets. Time becomes the great taskmaster when it should be the liberator. Time is endured rather than enjoyed.”

“When the goal is merely to ‘get through’ the day as quickly as possible, life will pass full of regrets. Time becomes the great taskmaster when it should be the liberator. Time is endured rather than enjoyed.”
Understanding time

You have all the time in the world if you know how to utilize the time you’re given.

There are no limits on time. You can complete as much work as you want — if you have the right mindset and environment

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Mark Twain

“It ain’t what you know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

Mark Twain
The most useful learning
Most people think about learning as adding knowledge and skills. You now have a new fact in your mind that didn’t exist before.

The most useful learning isn’t usually a strict addition of new knowledge, but first unlearning something false or unhelpful.

Types of Unlearning
  • Straightforward refutation of the old idea. This complete refutation is atypical. More likely the new knowledge doesn’t contradict the old one, but it may modify it in some way.
  • The new knowledge revises a simpler picture by filling it with more complex details. This is similar to adding new knowledge, although because the older, simpler view of the issue has been overwritten with more detail, there is some unlearning going on.

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A habit of compounding growth

Reading is a habit of compounding growth. When reading, you'll learn more, and you'll generate ideas and motivation for making other changes.

Reading books means you're getting more concentra...

Put the book down

The real cause of reading too few books is that you don't enjoy it enough.

Don't feel compelled to finish a book that has become boring, predictable or unhelpful. Start a new one. You can have many books through various states of completion. Some won't be finished, and that's okay. Reading less is worse than having a few go unfinished.

Build an online library

An obstacle to your reading habit is not having enough interesting books waiting to be read.

Create a list of potentially good books. If you have a Kindle or eReader, get samples of any book you might want to read — Source your wishlist from suggestions from other writers and authors. When someone recommends a book on a blog or tweet, add it to your wishlist.

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Reality Check

All efforts towards correctly pursuing your own personal development must take into account reality, not how you think the world should work. The truth is reality isn’t fair and just trying your...

Success Bias

Almost no popular self-help authors are going to have had the experience of pursuing a dream (like becoming an author) and not having it eventually work out. 

Understanding reality means that you have to accept that some of your dreams won’t come true just because you work hard enough, be creative enough or go to enough seminars. Don’t base your decisions on a false model of reality.

Outcome Based Thinking

When pursuing a dream you have the underlying assumption that when you reach it you will be happy. That is false. 

Achieving goals doesn’t make you happy because achievements on their own hold no lasting emotional value. Only growth, fulfilment and passion has value.

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Common patterns to the problem of motivation
Common patterns to the problem of motivation

There are three common patterns to the problem of motivation:

  • Drive: You don't have a strong enough desire to learn.
  • Anxiety: You have...
Having a weak drive to learn

Without a drive to learn, it's hard to get going. Weak drives include expectations from family, teachers, or employers. It's the things you have to do, but don't want to do.

You can change this, but you need an inspiring goal to get you started. If your project doesn't excite you, no advice will help.

Problems of anxiety when learning something

Sometimes you are excited to learn, but you still avoid getting started. You may worry about the fear of failure, feedback, or performing. If you expose yourself to the thing you find unpleasant and nothing bad happens, your fear will lessen.

Reframing is often helpful in overcoming this problem. Begin each studying session with the idea that you will find it hard.

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What Deep Work Is

A process of performing “professional activities…in a state of distraction-free concentration that pushes your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve ...

Shallow work

The non-cognitively demanding, logistical-style tasks, often performed while distracted, tend not to create much new value in the world and are easy to replicate.

Recognizing our limited willpower

...is the first element of deep work.

That means you won’t have the mental discipline to stay concentrated on a single task unless you prepare your mind and environment to it.

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Scott H Young

"People don’t judge you so much for who you are as they judge you for how you communicate yourself.&quo..."

Scott H Young
Be Funny and Interesting

  • Humor: It takes a lot of practice until you can figure out the natural timing and flow of a joke. Practice makes perfect.
  • Interest comes from having an interesting life. You can be interesting by telling stories  or by simply being quick to bring up an interesting fact.

Interest is similar to humor whenever people discover something they didn’t expect.

Tell Great Stories
  • You need to have an interesting point to make it worthwhile.
  • Your most interesting point should be the last thing you say in your story.
  • Keep it short.
  • Keep it personal. People prefer stories about people they know.
  • The more you tell a story the better you get the natural timing and emphasis. 

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Ways to improve your life
Ways to improve your life

There are a few different ways you can go about setting a goal or creating a new habit.

  • Target the minimum output. You focus on always doing at least a little bit so t...
When to Focus on the Minimum

Minimum targeting works well for establishing long-term habits.

A goal of, for instance, doing fifty push-ups every day might not be ideal for fitness, but doing something is better than doing nothing.

Another reason to focus on the minimum is that it assumes the difficulty is in starting. To start a process can often be the hardest. Then you want to set a lower threshold to make starting as easy as possible.

When to Target the Average

Focusing on the average makes sense when you're hoping to sustain something, even if it is not always a perfectly easy and consistent output.

It works when you are already putting in a bit of effort, but want to improve that effort over the long-term.

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Do nothing (on purpose)

Too many of us equate doing something with being busy. We don’t need to fill every moment of our lives—both at work and at home—being productive. 

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Engage in “Deliberate Rest”

Deliberate Rest means engaging with restful activities that are often vigorous and mentally engaging.

For example, Winston Churchill and Victor Hugo painted while Leo Tolstoy played chess.

Catch up on that one thing

Most of us put off tasks that stress us out. Unfortunately, this avoidance kicks off a cycle of procrastination that just causes more stress

Instead, committing to crossing one of them off of your to-do list on a day off can improve your overall well-being.

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