The temperature is falling. The TV weather people are going nuts. The grocery store is almost out of bread and milk. The line at the liquor store stretches down the aisle.
Then, the snow starts falling, and the fun really begins.
I'm writing this late at night before a blizzard is predicted for the East Coast. Washington will get clobbered. New York City might see a big storm, too. It will be one for the ages.
We haven't had much snow at all this winter, and so people are excited. They're remembering that as long as it happens only a couple of times a year, a snowstorm can actually be a lot of fun.
Here are 9 things to do to turn a snow day into day when you change your life for the better.
1. Don't go to work.
Start with this. The roads are icy, the train isn't running--whatever. In the modern world there's no need to risk your life or put yourself through enormous stress to physically travel to work during horrible weather. Embrace the snow day--and resolve to use it for the better.
2. Fly through your tasks.
Today isn't a rest day--well, not really. Instead, you want to make it one of the most productive days you've ever had. Finish projects for your job, come up with new ideas--contribute to the bottom line. You want to build an argument for the future that when you're at home, you're as productive if not more than at work.
3. Job search.
Are you truly working for the right employer? Do you normally have time to search for something else? A snow day is a great opportunity to tackle some strategic job-hunting ideas: reviewing your goals, investigating dream employers, and searching through your contacts on LinkedIn and elsewhere to see who you might know that can help you.
4. Build a side hustle.
Short of being your own full-time boss, the the best thing you can do to have a shot at creating really significant wealth in America is to build a side business. Time is always an issue when you're working for someone else however--but now you've got some. (Stuck on ideas? Here are 1,001 small business ideas; surely you can find some inspiration.)
5. Spend time with family.
Are your kids at home too (assuming you have kids)? Is your significant other? Make sure you work in some time to spend with them. Your relationships are a big part of what will make you happier in the long run. Make some memories!
6. Tidy up.
I have the zeal of a convert when it comes to Marie Kondo's book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Even if you haven't read it, know this--a few hours spent eliminating physical objects that don't bring "joy" to your life can really make you happier and more productive.
7. Tackle finances.
Do you have bills to pay? A 401(k) from an older job that you never rolled over? Maybe want to get a jump on your 2015 taxes? Bottom line, if you can spend a couple of your newly found hours cleaning up some minor financial headache, your day-after-the-snow-day will be a lot happier.
8. Consider education.
We like to talk about being lifelong learners. Like job searching or starting a side hustle however, there's often not enough time in the day to review your educational options. Take a few hours today, and really look into whether there's a course or even a degree you'd like to pursue. There's truly no time like the present.
Please don't make this your activity for the entire day--but the truth is that most of us are seriously sleep-deprived. Whether it's going to be a little early the night before you know you'll have the day off, or even just squeezing in a 30-minute nap that you'd never get to take otherwise, a little extra shut-eye can change everything.