With the holidays rapidly approaching, most of you probably have at least a few vacation days coming up. Here at MPS, we’re always talking about the importance of staying productive, so you might be wondering, what is the most productive way to spend a day off? Well, the first thing you should do is give yourself permission to actually have the day off.

One study found that on a Monday off of work, employees only send 40% less email than they do on a regular Monday. Furthermore, the response time to emails only slows down by about 15 minutes on those same Monday’s off. While it might seem smart to ‘catch up on work’ on your day off, several studies suggest otherwise. When you take a day off, meaning you don’t sneak in a little work here and there, your focus will actually have improved when you do get back in to the office. So, if you’re not staying productive by working, how should you spend your day off?

Complete That One Task You Keep Putting Off

You know, that one task that you need to do but keep pushing off to another day? Get that done. Being able to finally check it off of your to-do list will not only feel great, but it will also allow you to focus on the bigger tasks you have to get done.

Have a Family Dinner

Allow yourself to fully take the day off by doing something special with your family. We all try to have family dinners regularly, but life just gets in the way sometimes. Take advantage of your time away from the desk and get your family together at the table. After all, several studies have shown that families who have dinner together tend to be happier and healthier in the long run.

Do That One Cleaning Task You Never Have Time For

I think we all have a cleaning task that we never seem to have time to do, or maybe we started it but couldn’t find the time to finish it, so what better time to do it than your day off? For you, it might be washing all of the bed linens, cleaning out the fridge, or scrubbing the bathtub. If you’re someone who likes to stay busy, completing that daunting cleaning on your day off is always a good way to keep your mind off of your work.

Do Nothing

Lay on the couch, grab a cozy blanket, and watch Netflix. It’s your day off, you’re allowed to do nothing. If having a day full of nothing is what you need to mentally recharge, then do it. As long as you’re not checking your emails from the couch, for some people, spending their day off by watching movies is equally as productive as deep cleaning their house.

The most productive way to spend a day off is by actually taking the day off. Give yourself the chance to completely disconnect from work, and allow yourself to do whatever you need to do to mentally recharge. At first, it will probably be hard to resist the urge to open your email, but trust me, when it is time for you to go back to work, it will be well worth it. Your motivation, energy, and focus will all be reset, and you’ll find yourself being more productive than you were before your time off.