What is Despacio Day?
Even though we typically think of there being 365 days in a year, the Earth actually takes 365.242199 days to orbit the sun. To correct this slight discrepancy, every four years we add an extra day to our calendars: February 29th, a «leap day.» This is a change we probably do not perceive; at a micro level, it is just another weekday. But if we step back, it is clear that we are actually living, working or studying an extra day.
Given this fact, Despacio proposes that we treat February 29th differently from other weekdays, designating it as “Despacio Day”. To celebrate, we suggest that companies and organizations give their employees time off to do something productive or incorporate creative activities into the workday. The idea is for participants to imagine what productive or creative endeavor they would pursue on a day off and then to work with employers to make these ideas a reality. Ideally these activities would be unrelated to participants’ normal work tasks but also something other than watching TV, browsing social media, etc. Possible activities include working in a park without computers, drawing, writing or reading. This idea began in 2012 (see original post in Spanish from back then) and has now evolved to become Despacio Day.
How can I participate?
To make Despacio Day a reality, we are asking people from around the world what they would do with an extra day free of their normal tasks. Click here to take the quick survey. We will be receiving ideas from the survey and from social media (using the hashtag #DespacioDay) and will start publishing them on this page starting February 1, 2016. We won’t be putting up our ideas until then, either. We want you all to tell us your ideas first!
My boss won’t understand
We know a lot of bosses will say «What day?» when you explain to them Despacio Day. So we wrote up a letter that you can show them to explain it a little more formally. If you want the letter personalized, please write firstname.lastname@example.org.
What have people proposed for Despacio Day?
updated February 29th
- «I would spend the day with my family in nature; maybe camping, hiking, or going to the beach» (Ariana Beels, San Francisco, USA)
- «Lost and found day. Rituals of forgiveness and forgetting» (NurtureGirl, Normal, USA)
- «Have time to enjoy simple things with no hurry. Take a walk, hang out in a park, grab a bite in a cool local restaurant» (Alejandro, Bogota, Colombia)
- «Read a book made of paper, feeling its weight, turning its pages» (@rmchase, Cambridge, USA)
- «Exercise. Go out for a nice meal. Watch a movie.» (Claudia, Bogota, Colombia)
- «Play soccer and eat ice cream» (Alejandro, Bogota, Colombia)
- «I would go horseback riding» (Alejandra Pabón, Munich, Germany)
- «Have lunch with a friend. Do something nice for my neighbors. Clean the fireplace. Finish writing that article.» (Arlington, USA)
- «Go for a long bicycle ride» (Porto, Portugal)
- «Sleep and home renovations» (Ottawa, Canada)
- «Go buy more plants at the plant market» (Zoe Mendelson, Mexico City, Mexico)
- «Row a boat with my wife and have a picnic» (Coolguy182, New York, USA)
- «Bike to a nearby park and enjoy the sunshine» (Austin, USA)
- «Go to the beach and walk/swim in the ocean» (Sab, Sydney, Australia)
- «Go for a long walk or run, read outside, cook, Skype with friends or family» (Philip, Bogotá, Colombia)
- «Walk to the store, buy a newspaper, read it front to back, drink coffee, invite friends over to do the same» (Windsor, Canada)