This Saturday, February 29, is a bonus day -- 2020 is a rare leap year, in which we get 366 days. Have you ever wanted a 25-hour day or an eight-day week to get everything done? I certainly have, and this is about as close as we can get.
If used strategically, an extra day could totally change your business, your income, and perhaps even your life. In fact, I'd encourage planning out the bonus, just as you would additional income or revenue you knew was coming.
Perhaps you use this Saturday. Perhaps you push this special day to later in 2020. Either way, here are ways you can make the most of the extra 24 hours on the way.
Make a blank 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?
A while back, I started implementing blank days: a business day for which I completely clear my schedule. I described a blank day in an earlier column:
On a regular basis, I will set aside four to 12 hours dedicated to bettering my mind. There are few phone calls accepted, email is put on pause, and meetings are pushed to a later date.
These aren't vacation days, but days of self-driven thought, productivity, and realignment. Imagine what you could do with a scheduled day of betterment?
Do a monk 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:
A personal monk day is a day to recharge, reflect, and reboot. It is a day focused on inner productivity versus outer results. It is unplugging, too, which means no internet, cell phone, or other outside devices.
A professional monk day is a day to get stuff done. It has the same unplugging aspect, but it has a concrete to-do or task list. In old-school parlance, we'd call it a catch-up day. In today's interconnected world, having a true catch-up day almost requires completely unplugging from distractions. (It's no coincidence that in my own month of unplugging were some of the most clear, productive days of last year.)
Do a gratitude day
A last alternative is to create a gratitude day: Find strategic ways to give more to the customers, leaders, and supporters who have helped you build your career.
I recently talked about the New Orleans concept of lagniappe, which literally means giving a little, unexpected extra to your customer. It is a brilliant business strategy you should be implementing every day:
I have infused lagniappe into my own business. I'll send or give a copy of my newest book to active coaching clients for free, or pass along a free mini-coaching session to those who have gone the extra mile to support me along the way, and so on. I now actively seek ways to give people I serve something more.
Sending an unexpected thank-you note to a longtime customer, giving a phone call to a cherished mentor, or throwing in a small bonus in your next shipment can create a bond well beyond superficial, transactional business.
I've experienced mutual joy, surprising insights, and even new business deals from giving others a bit more than they expect.
Imagine what would happen if you dedicated a whole day to it?