Saturday is Leap Day, the extra day that gets added to the calendar every four years because of… um… the way the earth moves around the sun? Something like that? Basically time is a construct, and every four years we’ve constructed an extra day to make sure all of the rest of the days line up where they’re supposed to.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, what are you going to do with your extra day?
Every year, Bill Gates takes two think weeks: He stops working, spends time alone, and reads extensively. His intention is to reflect on business progress and strategize the next move.
Many of us can’t picture being inaccessible for two weeks, but how about for one day?
Alternatively, you can do a monk day: recharging specific areas of your life professionally or personally. If you feel like you’re on the verge of burnout, then this may be the best route.
This sounds a lot like the monthly No Plans Day I argued for in yesterday’s Lifehacker post about scheduling mental health days in advance. It’s kind of last-minute, but if it’s possible to turn Leap Day into a rest day, a recharge day, a mental health day, or a no-plans day, I’d say go for it. (The fact that Leap Day falls on a Saturday this time around should help, at least for the people who work a Monday-through-Friday workweek.)
Of course, you could also go in the opposite direction and spend your Leap Day doing something unusual, remarkable, or extraordinary. I’ve seen a lot of parents write about the joy of giving their children a Yes Day, in which any reasonable request, from ice cream for breakfast to an afternoon spent playing video games, is granted. You could do the same for your kids—or for yourself.
Essentially, if there’s something you’ve been wanting to say yes to, like taking a day-long road trip or visiting a new restaurant, Leap Day is a great day in which to do it. If there’s something you’ve been wanting to say no to, like a typical weekend day full of chores and errands, Leap Day is a great day in which not to do it.
Because the earth is going to keep moving around the sun whether we like it or not, and another Saturday full of obligations and commitments and housecleaning and meal prep will come around soon enough.
So go ahead and treat Leap Day like the special, once-every-four-years event it is.