Summer may have you envisioning long weekends, but when it comes to truly recharging, science says there’s a better day to take off than Friday.
Our body clocks have a lot to do with it—our experience of time is determined by what’s known as “pacers,” Dawna Ballard, a scholar of chronemics (the study of time and communication), told Quartz. Some are internal, like whether you’re a morning person or a night owl. Others are determined by outside factors, such as the structure of a work week or having a deadline.
“Everyone has a different chronotype,” Ballard says. “Some people are slower moving, some people are faster moving. Our work, though, just goes and throws that out the window and says actually, this is how fast you have to work, this is when you have to work.”
The pace of life on the weekend versus the work week helps explain why it feels hard to get back in the groove on Monday morning. But that doesn’t mean that the best way to reinvigorate yourself is by taking a long weekend. In fact, researchers have found that the best day to take off is Wednesday. A mid-week break doesn’t disrupt the work week but gives you time to recharge. That’s good to know if you’ve encountered some of these 10 sneaky sources of stress at work.
And that’s important for your health, scientists have found. “Chronic misalignment between our lifestyle and the rhythm dictated by our inner timekeeper is associated with increased risk for various diseases,” writes Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Robash, and Michael W. Young in recent research on our circadian rhythms.
But if you can’t take the day off completely, Wednesday is also a good day to work from home. While working from home on Monday or Friday make it almost an extension of the weekend, a mid-week break from a long work commute can help people get more done. Now that you know how to make the most of the workweek, find out 36 ways to make your workday less stressful.