Remember when you were a kid and your alarm clock would go off after a huge snowfall, and you'd lay in bed listening to the local radio essentially foaming at the mouth waiting for them to tell you that you've got a snow day? Not sure about you guys but when I'd hear the name of my school, I'd pop out of bed fist-pumping harder than Tiger Woods at the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines. After all, snow days were easy. You either booked yourself a one-way ticket to Deep Couch City or you suited up and played in the snow until sunset.
But today? Today's a little different. It's more complicated. Snow days are fewer and further between. Vacation days are dedicated to weddings, bachelor parties, and the much-coveted long weekend at home. And sick days aren't just reserved for the sniffles anymore like in middle school. You need to be "Do I have Ebola?" sick in order to use up one of those fuckers.
I can't sugarcoat it. It's fucking depressing. Days off of work are no longer dedicated to just doing you as much as they are to accommodate others, which is why we need to take the personal day back. We need to remember what it feels like to approach a surprise day off with the zest that we had as kids. We need to make the personal day ours again. And this is how we'll do it.
Don't Sleep In.
After all, who sleeps in anymore? Stoners and the unemployed. If you're going to fully commit to taking a personal day, do you really want to spend it lethargically laying in bed half-conscious with SportsCenter playing in the background? No. You need to wake up, make a pot of coffee, and cook up a brunch worthy of a five-star resort in Barbados. No one's going to be jealous of your personal day if you're like, "Yeah, I slept until like noon and didn't really do jack shit." But if you're dancing around your kitchen à la Risky Business Tom Cruise to your "#PERSONALDAY" Spotify playlist? Game over. The endorphins will kick in and you've put yourself on the path to personal day success.
Go off the grid.
After you send that Snapchat of your baller-ass breakfast to all your friends who are slaving at their offices, you need to get the hell off the grid. I mean, if you're taking a personal day, you probably don't want your bosses or co-workers to see you just lounging your ass off while you're supposed to be at work. You can't just perpetuate the Generation Y stereotype of laziness or else we all look bad. Treat it like you're faking sick and you don't want anyone to notice. Don't just be posting Instagrams of yourself on a sunny patio with the caption, "Another day at the office." It's unbecoming and reckless, and it'll only garner resentment from anyone that works with you.
Have a defined plan of action.
Do you really want to be sitting around on your personal day with the lingering thought of, "Alright, I should really go do something" the entire time? No, you want to wake up with the mentality of "I'm going to crush it today." I don't care if your plan consists of going to your favorite coffee shop, getting a massage, or playing a round of golf. Proper preparation prevents poor performance, so make a plan and stick to it. You're not going to feel good about yourself when the credits are rolling on Live! With Kelly and Michael when you could be out in the pre-noon sun getting a head start on your day.
Save the chores for Sunday.
This is a personal health day, not a day to clean the pubes off the bottom of your toilet seat. Do you want to tell your friends that you spent your personal day dry-heaving while trying to clean your shower or do you want to tell them about the back-to-back birdies you laid down on 14 and 15 while the hot cart girl watched? I really just put things in perspective there for you, didn't I? Don't let yourself fall into the trap of personal guilt that causes you to get shit done when you should be seeking a little peace of mind instead.
Be relentlessly selfish.
Call from the office? "Oh, sorry, my phone was in my golf bag." Girlfriend asks you to pick up her dry-cleaning? "Shit, I just got this text and they close in 10 minutes. I'll get it before work tomorrow." See a stranger getting mugged across the street from the store you're in? Do your best Seinfeld finale impression and turn a cold shoulder. Ignorance is bliss on personal days, guys. Don't let any external factors fuck up what this day is really about: you.
Treat. Yo. Self.
"You know what? I would like truffle fries with my club sandwich."
"Another mimosa? Don't mind if I do."
"This linen shirt ain't gonna buy itself."
After all, isn't that why you put in all that overtime last quarter? You can't take that money with you when you're gone.