Tim Glynne-Jones

Feb 15, 2024, 8:00 AM

February freebie – what will you do with the extra day?

How often do you hear yourself saying, “I wish I had more time”? Well, every four years your wish is granted – an extra day appears in your diary for FREE, thanks to the calendrical quirk that is the leap year. Oh happy day! So what are you going to do with it?

Here’s what our Associates suggested when asked for their advice on the best way to spend the extra day.

Get organised

Amy Shepherd, Organisational Psychologist and Career Coach

Amy-Shepherd-square.jpgGet your ducks in a row. Put your house in order. Whatever you want to call it, consider using a tool to help you reflect on where you’re at so far this year and all the great things that are coming up. I like writing a ‘Later - Next - Now - Done’ list, using Post-it notes or a whiteboard. It allows you to take stock of everything coming up, recognising that we can’t do everything right now, we can’t be everything to everyone all of the time. There’s only ever allowed to be one thing in the 'Now’ box, so it helps to prioritise the most important thing for this very moment in time. It helps to map out everything great for 2024 and to focus your mind on the most important task. Plus, you can revel in that feeling (elation? pride? relief? smugness?!) when you can finally move it into the DONE box! 


Do that one thing

Tracy Madgwick, HR and Recruitment Specialist

tracy-madgwick.jpgTackle that procrastination! What’s the ONE job that has been on your “to do” list forever but never seems to make it to the top of the list? Use the additional day to do just that one thing and FEEL the sense of satisfaction that you’ve finally nailed that task!


Learn something new

Victoria Fafalios, Chartered Accountant

Victoria Fafalios screenshot.jpgTry an online course, read a book, watch a documentary, or listen to a TED talk. For instance, I recently completed a free online mental health first aid course with Bath University, benefiting both me and my colleagues. It’s also important to feed the mind with things other than work. Consider downloading the app Duolingo to learn a few useful phrases for your next foreign holiday. Or listen to a podcast about something you’re really interested in but don’t know much about, such as the health benefits of cold water swimming. By taking some time out to feed your intellect, you can spring into March one day smarter… and fresher!


Ask questions

Emma Insley, Evaluation, Impact and Strategy specialist

action-planning_emma-insley_associate-consultant.jpgConsider an insights day. Look at the evaluation data you have captured – in a new way. Get together with some colleagues and ask yourselves some key questions, such as: Who is benefiting most from our services and why? Which projects are benefiting people the most and why? What tweaks can be made to make a bigger difference or sustain impact in the long term? What else do we need to know from the people who use our services to ensure decision-making is based on evidence of need and impact?


Take a day of rest

Sean Tully, Trusts and Foundations Specialist

action-planning_sean-tully_associate-consultant.jpgThe temptation is to always ask, "How can I do/achieve more with an extra day?" What if the answer is to do less with that day? Or rather, to achieve more in the long term by recharging your batteries on this quadrennial "free" day? It doesn't have to mean staying in bed (unless you want to). It could mean taking a walk, reading a book, catching up with friends over coffee, or even decluttering your desk (if that recharges your batteries).



Lucretia Hudson-Garber

Lucretia-HG.jpgThe 29th February will be a Thursday. I don’t usually work on Thursdays anyway, but if I did… what if I decided not to work and instead, to use the day for self-care and wellbeing after a busy week and in preparation for my birthday a week later? Have a Spa Day: manicure; much needed pedicure; head, neck and shoulder massage. Just the thought of it makes me feel relaxed. Then I’ll be ready to take Friday 1st March head on and be fully ready for the fun and excitement in the coming week of the Action Planning Awayday, my birthday, International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day all in one weekend. Health and wellbeing are key.

However, some of us have to work on the 29th Feb so, to charities who may need our fundraising/bid writing support, use the extra day to consider the project(s) you need funds for and review your case for support. Do you have clear details about your beneficiaries and their needs; what you aim to achieve; delivery; project costs; and, most important, how much will you ask for? This will be an effective and productive use of the extra day.



Anja Batista Sonksen

Anja Sonksen photo.jpgIsn’t it people who energise, inspire and ground you? That’s why my 29th February is going to be spent reconnecting to my contacts. I have already booked to meet up with an old friend from school, whom I see much too little of. On my way to see her, I plan to go through my address book or maybe my LinkedIn and see which interesting people in my network I have not spoken to in a while. I know there are many it would be great to link up with again and make time to have a coffee with. Or a glass of wine. Looking forward to being energised, inspired and grounded.


Go walking

Claire Smith, Copywriter

Claire Smith Photo.jpgWalking at lunchtime is a habit which, for many of us home-workers, endured after the pandemic. You can’t beat a short stroll to reset your mind and mood. But a whole day of walking… that’s an opportunity to jump into with both feet. I find that walking brings the best ideas, sparks creative breakthroughs and unlocks challenges. Something about the rhythm of it is good for your thoughts. So find your boots, plot a route. I’ll see you out there.



Derek Smith, Bid Writing Consultant

action-planning_derek-smith_bid-writing-conultant.jpgI made a decision to do more volunteering. Being a consultant can make this difficult as I get caught up in identifying areas of improvement rather than providing direct help (and improving my own mental health). This February I am going to work with people with learning disabilities in a garden. We will set up a wormery, getting our hands dirty mixing in worms, compost, veg and cardboard. Many service users like repetitive tasks with a clear output. I’m looking forward to having great fun creating compost and watching as every precious blood worm is collected by hand and returned to the wormery.


If you’ve got some time and you want to know how best to spend it, get in touch. We can help and inspire you with any aspect of running a charity.


Tim Glynne-Jones

Tim Glynne-Jones is a copywriter and author who runs the not-for-profit live music events organisation New Music Nights as a volunteer. He works mainly in marketing and non-fiction book publishing and is responsible for content at Action Planning.

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