As a self-driven entrepreneur, business owner, mom, and all-around hustler, I am going pretty constantly. Now, I get my 8+ hours of sleep every night, work only a healthy amount of hours, and take great care of myself, but I’m tackling life and work every day to build this life and job that I want—from sun up to sun down. But sometimes—even with taking healthy precautions—I need to call in the big dogs to help me get refreshed. And, sadly, I can’t jet-set off to a tropical island every time I need a hardcore breather. Not yet, at least.

Kathleen and I talk a lot about self-care (and again here), fueling your body, and enjoying a morning routine, but what do you do when you need to take it a step further?

What’s the answer to hustle tiredness when you’re already doing all the things right, but it’s still all overwhelming?

For David and I, occasionally—when it all gets to be too much—we claim a Mandatory Lazy Day.


A Mandatory Lazy Day is a day we carve out of our busy schedule, maybe once a quarter, where we do nothing. All day.

It’s usually mid-week, after weeks of busting out awesomeness, where one (or both) of us is at the end of our rope. We look at the other and state, “It’s time for a Mandatory Lazy Day.”

We then look at the weekend ahead and pick a day—Saturday or Sunday—where we commit to doing nothing. Here’s what that looks like:


  • You cannot put on restrictive clothes. Staying in your PJs is a sign of real commitment.
  • You cannot leave the house. No errands are allowed. Sitting on your porch or walking in your yard is fine, but getting in your car is not.
  • You may take a walk. But it shouldn’t be too strenuous, or require a car ride to get there.
  • You cannot check your email, or do anything work-related beyond daydreaming, and maybe some pen-to-paper outlining (see below).
  • You have to do things that are restful and enjoyable.


  • Watching TV. Netflix binges are encouraged.
  • Reading.
  • Endless (and guiltless) scrolls through Pinterest. Be inspired!
  • Pen-to-paper magic. Journal, outline, write – on paper. Leave the computer behind.
  • Porch-sittin’ – watch the birds, make up dialogues about the squirrels, pet your plants.
  • Call your mom, but only if it’s going to be stress-free.
  • Naps. Really good, long naps.

The point of the Mandatory Lazy Day is to give your body and mind a really good rest. It’s 24 hours of mindfully being really lazy, so you’re ready to hit the ground running.

The surprising part: Mandatory Lazy Days are actually difficult. As a boss, forcing myself to sit still is often harder than doing the work, which makes this practice of chilling the eff out and making yourself rest an even important task for you to work into how you cycle through your life and work.


My favorite part of the Mandatory Lazy Day doesn’t come in episode 8 of VEEP or the joy of watching the birds from the front porch—though those things certainly have their own bit of magic about them. Instead, my very favorite part is how ready I am by the end of that day to get to work! After a day of fulfilling all of my laziest of desires, all frustration, angst, and tiredness from the days that called for the Mandatory Lazy Day are gone. Instead, it has done its work, and I am ready to get back on the saddle.


Have you had enough? Need to take drastic measures? Claim your own Mandatory Lazy Day and rest really hard.

Make like a sloth and don’t do shit—except eat, sleep, and chill.


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Emily is the co-host of Being Boss Podcast, helping creative entrepreneurs learn how to run their own creative business with the tough love they need to hear to do the work. She also owns Almanac Supply Co., a maker and retail business focused on creating and curating items to help you live closely with nature, based in Chattanooga, Tennessee.