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Explore Life Coaching, Patti Phillips

Play Hooky: I DARE YOU!

When I was in school, it didn’t happen very often but every once in a while, I played hooky (GASP!). It was never a full day, usually just a class at a time, and it was always calculated so that I wouldn’t get into too much trouble (I didn’t like trouble!).

I didn’t know it then, but there were lots of lessons for me in playing hooky.

  1. I needed to be rebellious once in a while.
  2. I didn’t have to be perfect.
  3. I was smart enough to choose the hooky times wisely to not miss something important, and I was smart enough to catch up if I did happen to miss something important.
  4. When you take time for yourself, you have more energy when you get back to things.

My hooky ways followed me into my work life. Every once in awhile, probably 2-4 times a year, I would take a day off (it became more appropriate to call it a “mental health day” in the work world). There were times I felt guilty because the idea of a day off without being “sick” was often scoffed at by bosses or co-workers. Which was especially funny because I worked in the mental health industry. But I worked hard to get over my guilt and took my days away when I needed to, knowing that it was better for me, my co-workers, and my employer to re-energize and be the best me I could be.

Here are my Top 5 Tips To Play Hooky Guilt Free

  1. Recognize the signs that you need a day away from work. 
    • poor sleep
    • over-reacting to minor stress at work
    • underlying feeling of stress and anxiety at work
    • unmotivated to complete work responsibilities
    • having a short fuse with friends and family
  2. Be intentional on your hooky day.  Do things that you know will re-energize you so that you can return to being the best you, you can be at both work and at home. If you need to sleep, sleep. If you need to get a massage, get a massage. If you need to go fishing, go fishing.   
  3. Plan your hooky day for a slow time at work.  If you plan a little in advance, you may be able to clear most of your schedule so your co-workers and clients may not even notice you’re gone.
  4. Give yourself credit for taking action before a total meltdown.  Prevention is the best medicine and you may be avoiding an extended sick leave that would have a much greater impact at your work. AND you may become a role model to co-workers who could use a hooky day.
  5. Talk to your boss. This may be a tough one but could be the best way to avoid that feeling of guilt. If your boss “gets it”, she may help you figure out how to best categorize your time away (vacation time, overtime, sick time, just because you work hard time, compensatory time).

So go ahead, play hooky guilt free.

What do you think: is playing hooky from work okay?


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