I listened to an interview with Ellen Burstyn on Death, Sex & Money last year—which was unexpectedly harrowing and filled with amazing yet deeply intimate details about her life that increased my respect for Ellen Burstyn a thousandfold—where she explained her theory of "shouldless days":
I have what I call "shouldless days." Today is a day where there’s nothing I should do. So I only do what I want to do. And if it’s nap in the afternoon or watch TV and eat ice cream, I get to do it. I had that kind of day yesterday.
Shouldless days, I recommend them. Because what I figured out, is we have wiring, I have wiring in my brain that calls me lazy if I’m not doing something: "God, you’re so lazy." And that wiring is there. I haven’t been able to get rid of it.
But what I can do is I can put in another wiring. I can put in shouldless days. So when that voice goes off and says, You’re being lazy, I turn to the other wiring in my brain that says, No, this is a should-less day, and I’m doing what I want.
I have shouldless days a couple of times a month, usually on Sundays, and today is also one. I took a personal day just because. End of sentence! I made no plans and strode forth into the world sans agenda. I walked and stopped and looked and sat and bought some summer beer (since we have pole vaulted right over spring) and ate my first lobster roll of the year (summer) and then I cleaned out my closet and vacuumed and now I'm probably going to take a nap before it rains.
That's it, that's the whole story.