Van Doorn says the concept of a productivity “cheat day” is similar to healthy eating “cheat days,” a philosophy coined by podcaster and author Tim Ferris in which you eat well six days a week and whatever you want on the 7th.
Productivity “cheat days” work the same way, says Van Doorn: “Six days a week I adhere to the routine, and the other day a week I can do whatever I want.”
He says the rules are simple:
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Schedule your cheat day in advance.
Do not do anything work-related on your cheat day.
Van Doorn uses his once-a-week “cheat day” to re-energize. Every Sunday, he forgoes work on his dissertation, sleeps in, scrolls social media, eats whatever he wants, watches professional cycling on TV, and hangs out with friends.
“That resets the balance a lot,” Van Doorn says, “and the next day you’re eager to dive into it again."