As the UK prepares to enjoyed its last official three-day weekend for a while, I started to ponder what to do with my extra time off. Public holidays are great for doing things but, with the inevitable queues involved when going away or talking part in any sort of activity whilst the rest of the country is also off work, many people opt for an extra day of lazing around. The problem when you spend three days doing virtually nothing is that, although it gives your mind and body a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, getting going again afterwards can be extremely difficult. Once your mind gets into that inactive state, it takes often more than an alarm clock and caffeine to wake it up again.
In an episode of the excellent TV show Spaced, wannabe writer Daisy tells her flatmate Tim: “I’m gonna be as inactive as I can in order to get into the psyche of someone unemployed, vocationally and cerebrally, to see if enforced passivity exacerbates itself. Does inactivity breed laziness?” He then asks if she’s going to write an article about it, to which she replies with a sigh, “No, I can’t be bothered”.
It’s extremely difficult to break the cycle which I suspect is why many people just don’t relax. Perhaps the best way to get going again after a period of down-time is to start small and write a to-do list or, as my mother used to call it, a plan of action. Once you have this, you can start to get into the right headspace for achieving some of these goals. No matter how small, a list of achievable aims for your first day back in the world of productivity will at least help to break the cycle of laziness. Of course, you have to have at least a tiny bit of motivation in order to complete this first step. I ought to plan my own time better but… I’m not sure I can be arsed with it right now.
A version of this article first appeared on BitchBuzz in 2010.