lazy day ideasGini Dietrich has told us how we can be more productive on Fridays (one of my most favorite lazy days), and Laura Petrolino has provided some amazing insight on how to mix professional development into our slower summer schedules.

We’ve also asked about whether you work to live or live to work, and last time we discussed work-life balance. And while there are exceptions, our community does seem to lean towards an always-on attitude. Which is great.

In an industry where time is often money, productivity and efficiency can be (and are) differentiators.

But sometimes—not all the time, just sometimes—you really need to have a lazy day.

Do you know what I mean?

It’s like the notion of unplugging or avoiding distraction. They can’t happen all the time. Perhaps they can’t even be worked into your rotation regularly. But it’s important to embrace them periodically.

Even if you live to work, we all need downtime. Or at least time off from whatever we are doing most often.

So today, I’m here to embrace laziness.

Well, the discussion really started on National Lazy Day (August 10), and—because I was being lazy (read: brilliant)—I decided to turn it into a Big Question:

What are your favorite lazy day ideas? What do you do for “down” time?

In Denial

Let’s just get the naysayers out of the way first.

“What if all my lazy day activities are active? I feel like this day discriminates against me.”

Ten guesses who submitted this response. Your first nine don’t count…

I insisted that everyone needs at least ONE non-active lazy day idea, even if it’s just shopping for leggings.

I was hoping that would be the extent of it…

From Kevin Mercuri:

I’m with Laura. My “lazy days” are almost always active (and outdoors).

I tell you, dealing with these active people is exhausting.

Lazy Day Ideas for Communicators: Writing

Even though Laura Crain has to do a lot of writing in her day-to-day, she seems to fall into the same (similar?) camp as Laura and Kevin:

My favorite lazy day activity is to write. I’m a content marketer, and I write for work, but it’s all very structured writing, and it’s not always about topics that I’m interested in.

That’s why I love to write at home. I can write fantasy stories, blog posts, TV show recaps, or anything that I feel like writing.

I love that it gives me an outlet to express myself and unwind while still honing the abilities that I use for work.

Really? What is it about Lauras? C’mon… I’m a writer. And I like to write.

But on a scale of one to Laura Petrolino, Laura Crain is sneaking up on her. My brain is sweating just thinking about it.

In all seriousness, I get it. Writing can be relaxing. Changing up what you’re writing about can be very freeing. But lazy?

That said, it seems like Tatiana Morand is on the same wavelength:

Even in my downtime, I love working with words—which is why I started a brunch blog, in which I go to different brunch spots around my city and review them!

Because you’re a fellow Canadian living in Toronto (and well, because brunch), I’ll allow this Tatiana.

Lazy Day Ideas for Communicators: Dog Days

Sarah Hancock‘s lazy day activity is one I’m sure a lot of us dog lovers can relate to, but it’s still a little too active to be considered lazy in my book:

My favorite thing to do during my time off is to take my dog to the park.

It’s relaxing; fun; doesn’t cost anything; and feels great to get outside, move around, feel the sunshine, and breathe some fresh air.

Plus, I really like giving my dog the chance to run free and play outside since he’s cooped up in the house most days while I’m at the office.

Sarah Parker‘s lazy day idea is also dog-centric:

Movie night with my large puppy, every Friday night I can…

Lazy Day Ideas for Communications: Now We’re Talking

I was really starting to think I was the only truly lazy person in our industry, and then…

Nate Masterson was clearly paying attention when he read the question:

After a busy week I know I should be spending my downtime catching up with family and friends but what I really want to is just disappear into a far-off land and daydream there for a while.

Curling up with my favorite book and really getting absorbed in the fiction is something I don’t usually have time for, so when an opportunity comes along, I take it.

There’s nothing better than switching on some fairy lights and curling up on the couch with my favorite throw blanket for the foreseeable future.

Reading has also been proven to improve brain function and reduce stress levels which makes it the perfect relaxation for your Sunday afternoon lazy day.

YES! Fairy lights and everything. This is what I was talking about.

Well played, Nate. Well played.

Lazy Day Ideas for Communicators: Daydreaming

Andrea Preziotti agrees:

Reading mysteries, cloud watching.

Man do I miss good ol’ fashioned daydreaming.

If it’s rainy, guilty pleasure TV.

Lazy Day Ideas for Communicators: No Sweat

Fiona Adler gets it:

To relax properly, I have to leave the house. I work from home so it’s too tempting to do a bit more, and even if I can keep myself off the computer, there’s always plenty of housework and chores to be done.

So when I’m in need of a lazy-day activity (or just an hour or two), I sometimes take myself to a cafe where I can sit and people-watch while sipping a coffee. As well as being relaxing, this also helps give me perspective.

I imagine these people’s lives and what might be going through their heads as they rush through town.

Often this gives me ideas on new approaches for some of my projects. I usually take my notebook so I can jot down things that come to mind.

Other than that, I like to do hot yoga—but I’m not sure that counts as a lazy activity!

Agreed, Fiona. If there’s sweat involved, I have trouble putting it in the lazy category.

And I’m with you on getting out of the house, although that almost makes it active enough to fall out of the lazy category.

True sloth is blissfully unaware of its surroundings.

Lazy Day Ideas: The Winner…

The last word on lazy-day ideas goes to Matt Maxey this week because, to be honest, it hit closest to home with me:

I must admit when my wife (who works from home) travels for work, I’m prone to taking a personal day and still sending the kids to daycare just so I can sit in our house when it’s both clean and silent.

It’s amazing how refreshing that can be! #LifeWith2kidsUnder3

This epitomizes the concept of lazy day activities. It doesn’t mean you don’t want to be with your kids, or you don’t like your job.

It’s not something you do all the time. You just need some time OFF.

I know we included the idea of “down time” in this query, but ultimately I really wanted to focus on those few-and-far-between moments.

Those rare opportunities where you truly want to do nothing, or the next-best-thing (reading, Netflix binging, sleeping in, whatever).

So, congrats, Matt! You win (in my book).

Up Next: Data

We talk a lot about data at Spin Sucks.

Data is increasingly a huge differentiator when it comes to PR and marketing metrics.

The more information you can gather about your audience, their activities, and how they engage with your brand, the better, right?

But data can be a bit… unwieldy.

Collecting it is one thing. Filtering and cleaning it is another. Actually using it still another.

Many organizations have great data goals and practices.

And like the best-laid plans, the best data intentions don’t always net the results you were hoping for.

So the next Big Question focuses on that:

Where have your data-driven efforts gone most wrong?

You can answer here, in our free Spin Sucks Community, or on the socials (use #SpinSucksQuestion so we can find you).

Mike Connell

Mike Connell is the director of client services at Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. He is also a contributor to the award-winning PR blog, Spin Sucks, the leading source for modern PR training, trends, and insights. Find more of Mike's musings on his blog, Communative. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

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