Mandatory Lazy Day

August 31, 2018

In order to be boss, you have to do the work…but sometimes doing the work looks like some serious rest. In today’s minisode, we’re talking about the importance of giving yourself some serious rest and separation from your business to avoid burnout and feel refreshed.

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"The Mandatory Lazy Day is one of those things that's completely added to our ability to hustle."
- Emily Thompson


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Kathleen Shannon 0:04
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Caitlin Brehm 0:45
Okay, bosses, were pretty hustle focused over here, not an unhealthy amount. But you know, we're always talking about doing the work. But sometimes the work looks like sitting on your couch all day, in your pajamas, binge watching an entire show on Netflix. And that's actually good for your business sometimes. So Emily, and Kathleen, how is that possible?

Emily Thompson 1:12
Well, it's possible because otherwise you're gonna crash and burn. So the idea of a mandatory lazy day actually came out while we were doing our massive road trip Indie goes West a couple of years ago, we took 40 days, packed up the car, hit the road, and kept pretty much all along the way. And when you're driving that much, and setting up a tent that much and cooking, and just literally in some very real ways, just generally trying to survive, you find yourself tired, really, really tired. And there was a couple of times along the trip where we needed to have a mandatory lazy day a day that we were not going to set up or take down camp, we were not going to drive, we were not going to do anything other than sit in the tent or lay in the hammock and do the actual camping that we were hoping we were going to be doing along the entire way. So these mandatory lazy days were really important for helping us just sort of stop and enjoy the moment so we could hit the road again. And whenever we got back from our trip, it was something that became a part of our ongoing work life relationship, where that trip taught us how to hustle in a whole new way. And we came back and continued to grow things. That's when being boss started really taking off. I mean, we really did some amazing work things after that as well. But because that we are so able to show up and hustle on the level that we are, sometimes we need to have a hard stop and that for us are these mandatory lazy days, where we're not going to do anything, we're not going to allow anything to touch that day whatsoever. We're going to vege out.

Kathleen Shannon 3:01
Yeah, it's kind of like the idea of, you know, just making one sacred day a week. And I know that a lot of religions, even practices where you're not even engaging in technology and turning off your phone. And so for me, I kind of struggle with having a lazy day. And I don't know if it's because like I have more lazy days in general than you Emily like, I feel like even at your house, you're kind of go go go. Whereas for me on the weekends, I'm pretty chill. And I'm happy to go out and do like one thing per day on the weekend that's fun or adventurous or whatever that might look like. But I definitely love engaging in some Netflix bingeing. And I guess maybe just even since having a kid, it's harder to have a lazy day.

Emily Thompson 3:44
It can't be more difficult at that point. And just let me do some clarification then because I definitely have tons of days, my Saturdays and Sundays are usually pretty chill, where you know, maybe I will go grocery shopping, maybe I will, you know, do little things here and there, cook a meal, take a walk, whatever it may be. But there are times in your life. And I think specifically around the holidays, this happens for me, where every weekend is filled with you know, traveling to see family or another holiday party or whatever. And you don't have the ability to really stop at all for a couple of weeks. This is always when I find myself needing a mandatory lazy day where I am really just hustling a little harder than I usually do. And that's whenever I find myself needing a hard stop, I probably do a mandatory lazy day, once every three months like this is not something that I'm doing terribly often if even once every three months. So maybe like two to four of these a year where I will pick a Saturday or Sunday because those tend to be the easiest days. I'll block it off on my calendar. And I won't do anything, anything at all. So there are a couple of rules that I have for my personal mandatory lazy days. I'm not changing clothes. So I'm going to be at my PJs all day long, you can't see me, you're not even really going to talk to me. Nothing like I am not going to do anything to prepare myself for a society at all. So I'm going to stay in my PJs, and I'm not going to leave the house. This is also a really important one for me, unless it's for Oh, I'll go walk the dog, I will do that. But I'm not going to go grocery shopping. And I'm not going to like take the kid to target or any of those things like this is sincere laziness. And I'm not going to cook a meal. So we cook a lot in our house. So quite often a Saturday or Sunday, a leisurely Saturday or Sunday, to me often looks like, you know, cooking. Honestly, we're like, I'm going to spend the day making a really great dinner sort of slowly. And I will enjoy the process along the way. But I'm mandatory lazy day. I'm not cooking, because there also won't be any claiming that it happens on that day either. So I'll make sure the day before that I have everything pre prepared, so that I can really just chill out all day long. And I find this really hard to do sometimes I always know I need it. There's always comes a point where I'm like, David, I have to have a mandatory lazy day soon. He's usually right on board with me. But usually by five o'clock every day, we're looking each other going what's next, like what do you want to do next and that consistent need to find the next thing to do is the thing that I sometimes need to stop and halt myself from doing and that's where the mandatory lazy days come in.

Kathleen Shannon 6:35
Okay, I love this part of it. Like some of the things I'm really hearing you highlight is one communicating that it is a lazy day and blocking it off on your schedule. So

Emily Thompson 6:45
why I've even had people like text me saying, hey, it's Sunday. Let's have brunch, like nope. I would usually love to do brunch, but it's mandatory, lazy day.

Kathleen Shannon 6:54
Yeah. And I bet on a mandatory lazy day, you're actually not even replying Nope. Like your phone is off. Right? Morning. Monday morning, you say oh, I was having a lazy day yesterday. So one is communicating it to your friends and family. But probably the people that you live with the most is just saying, hey, and then to what that means is that they can't even ask you. What are we doing? What's next? It's really setting What are you cooking? Dinner? Right? It is setting the expectation for nothing. I love Yeah.

Emily Thompson 7:29
Yeah, for sure. And again, these don't happen very often. I'm not having mandatory lazy day, every weekend or every month, I mean, like literally quarterly or every six months. And it always comes after a time of you know, lots of intense work in life hustle where you know, we're launching things. But also I have family engagements that are keeping me busy on the weekends or whatever it may be. It always comes at times in life is just a little harder or a little like more high speed than it generally is. And it always slows down after I take that break. It's like you have to pause the momentum or it's gonna take you to places that you don't want to be.

Kathleen Shannon 8:06
Yeah, it's kind of like a good hard reset.

Emily Thompson 8:08
Yeah, for sure. For sure. So, if you guys want to hear more about the mandatory lazy days, you can find more on that 96 and 97 are on page 96, 97 of the being boss book, where we lay out the rules are pretty hardcore, though you just got a general overview. You can find the book at being boss club slash book, and you should host your own mandatory lays a day for yourself and potentially for your family as well. Kids have a hard time husbands love it until it comes time for food. Generally,

Kathleen Shannon 8:46
you know, I will say my one of my favorite friends Liz she had a mandatory lazy day recently. She didn't call it that. But I think that whenever you have little little kids, you have to divide and conquer your lazy days. So hers was booking herself a hotel room for 24 hours and getting away from her husband and kiddo to have her own lazy day where she was able to order room service, sleep in a bed all by herself. And so if you do have kiddos like especially really young kiddos who can't participate in the lazy day with you, then I would recommend dividing and conquering if that is available to you.

Emily Thompson 9:24
Yeah, for sure. And if you have older kids like letting them join in a Netflix binge like they'll probably love it though we do often allow Lily just to go play with friends because at some point she's itching to do something and I am having too much of a lazy day to even like argue about why it is that she needs a lazy Well yeah.

Kathleen Shannon 9:44
And then what if she's asking you questions on your lazy day? I mean, I'll talk No, but I'm talking like mom can like I'm talking whining. What if she starts whining?

Emily Thompson 9:56
You she gets a hand Hey, I'm having a lazy day, like you're making my brain work too much right now. And that definitely is a thing sometimes. And she gets it though we've done this often enough that she knows she's gonna have to like get all of her questions out the day before as well as make sure she has snacks readily available, because mandatory lazy day is coming.

Kathleen Shannon 10:20
I love that lazy day prep. We're gonna prep for lazy day on Saturday and Sunday.

Emily Thompson 10:26
We do lay around, we do and it's so important. And it's something that again, we don't do it very often, but we do enjoy doing it. And it is it's such a part. It's become such a part of our processes. It's, and it's one of those funny little things that came out of doing that really awesome road trip that we didn't anticipate, but it's completely added to our ability to hustle.

Kathleen Shannon 10:52
This minisode was brought to you by twenty20. Check them out at That's t w e n t y 20 as in the slash being boss.

Emily Thompson 11:06
Did you like this minisode Be sure to check us out on our website at There you can find more from being boss including our full episodes minisodes and blog posts. And while you're there, be sure to sign up for our mailing list so that you can get access to behind the scenes and exclusive content from Kathleen and myself to help you be more boss in your work and life. Do the work be boss