My wife Elmine has given me a great gift. A day per week.

In the past year if not two, if not longer, I have always filled my time with work. (My most recent ‘play’ projects seem to be from 2009) Although I have a wide variety of things I say I will do if I have time, it never happens as all the other stuff comes first. So there are Arduinos and Raspberry Pi gadgets lying around and unpacked fablab machines, without me ever touching them. There is code I would like to write, books to read, stuff to blog, but it never happens.

Even when I am at home, it does not happen. I want to spend time with Elmine, and there are the usual chores around the house and friends to meet. The notion I will do something fun ‘if I have some time left’ in reality simply means never.

So Elmine gave me a piece of advice and a gift. The advice was to plan a day per week for me. Just block one day in my calendar. To play, to experiment, to read, to write, or simply to sleep. A day to not pick up the phone or look at email. The gift is that Elmine will not ask me anything that day either. No walks outside, no chores around the house, no cooking. And the day includes the evening.

So that is tomorrow. My first day that I allow myself in a long time, which I would not have done without Elmine’s advice and gift. 16 hours of nothing or everything, whatever I decide. Tomorrow I have a ‘play date’ with me.

10 reactions on “Monday, Me-Day, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday….

  1. That’s really great! I wish I could have a me-day! ^^
    I have so much to do, so many people that rely on me… it’s simply impossible for me, I don’t even have me-evenings or me-holidays.

    By the way, when’s Elmine’s day? ^^

    • like me Elmine is self-employed, but she’s working from home much more. I find she’s much better at spending some me-time during the day. Playing guitar, singing etc.

  2. Surely you’re missing out on the most appropriate name for this, given your own name: Tonday.

    I’ve always admired how, in general, my European friends take weekends much more seriously than I do. Has it been your habit to treat Saturday and Sunday any differently than “work days”?

    • Well, me-day will not always be a Tuesday. Just happens to be Tuesday this week. It could be a weekend day as well.

      I have been more and less successful at not working during weekends. The last few months I succeeded in not working at weekends, but in the past 2 years weekends were mostly when I finished the things I did not finish during the week.

      But even if not working, weekends tend to fill up with chores around the house, social calls, groceries, or simply and most importantly, spending time together. So that’s not ‘tinker time’, although it is non-work time.

  3. Ooooh that sounds great! I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a long time. My problem (and we always come back to the same problem of priorities) is that I feel like a day a week is way too much. I’d like to set aside half a day a week for accounting and admin, too.

    I’m really curious to hear how this goes for you.

    However, I am good at “not working” on week-ends, so some of that time is “me-time” to tinker and do stuff. But I’d like to do more.

    (By the way: are you in the Going Solo group for freelancers yet? I’m sure others there would love to hear about this.)

    • I am sure it will not always be a day, or every week. But the principle of planning ‘tinker time’ / ‘me time’ and not violate that is key for me. And a day seems generous, but at the same time it is an attempt to work less hours (I usually end up working upwards of 50 hours / week). I find that if I work less, I work better and get more done. And my tinker-time is usually where ‘proper work’ starts for me. All of my professional activities, ever since I started working, have originated in ‘me-time’. All of them. So I also think it is important for my professional development to have more me-time than zero, as it has been in the last years.

  4. Enjoy your day, Ton!
    I had been planning to schedule my guilt-free me-time for a while now – the problem is that whenever there’s a bit of time left, I tend to take on more projects! The garden is “the chore” that actually frees me the most – I have to take care of it, and I enjoy it immensely!
    But there’s Arduinos in the drawers and fabric waiting to be turned into dresses that I never seem to get to!
    Looking forward to hear how it went!

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