What Did You Do On Leap Day?

Leap Day, February 29. It arrived as expected. We won’t have another until 2020.


Many don’t know why we add this extra day, other than it has something to do with the calendar. According to BBC News Magazine, “The leap year’s extra day is necessary because of the “messiness” of our Solar System. One Earth year (a complete orbit around the Sun) does not take an exact number of whole days (one complete spin of the Earth on its axis). In fact, it takes 365.2422 days, give or take.


“Until Julius Caesar came to power, people observed a 355-day calendar – with an extra 22-day month every two years. But it was a convoluted solution to the problem and feast days began sliding into different seasons. So Caesar ordered his astronomer, Sosigenes, to simplify things. Sosigenes opted for the 365-day year with an extra day every four years to scoop up the extra hours. This is how February 29 was born. It was then fine-tuned by Pope Gregory XIII.” (If you’re interested in the fine details, they can be found in the article).”


So that sounds quite easy, that every fourth year is a leap year. End of story. But, in fact, it is not the end of the story. It become quite a big more complicated.  The article continues, “A year that is divisible by 100, but not by 400, is not [a leap year]. So 2000 was a leap year under the Gregorian calendar, as was 1600. But 1700, 1800, and 1900 are not leap years. ‘It seems a bit arbitrary,’ says Ian Stewart, emeritus professor of mathematics at Warwick University. But there’s a good reason behind it.” Each of our earth years is actually 365 and a quarter days long. Sort of. Actually, it is slightly less. When the Gregorian calendar was introduced in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII and his astronomers reasoned that there was a loss of three leap days every 400 years. Therefore, this is why 1700, 1800, and 1900 were not leap years.


OK; by now you’re probably wondering why this is on a business blog. Actually, it has a lot to do with how we spend our days and take advantage of opportunities when they come along.

What did you do on February 29?

We all talk about having an “extra day” this year. This offers opportunity! What could you have done on February 29 to work on your business that you didn’t do?

  • Call an extra 10 prospects
  • Clean out your overflowing email box
  • Spend a few hours on your marketing plan
  • Catch up on tasks you’ve been putting off
  • Review your business plan and set new goals

Most likely, you did the same things you do any other day of the week, not really even thinking about this gift.

Year vs Day

So you missed this opportunity. Leap Day is gone. February 29th is over.


Well, the refreshing thing to realize is that it didn’t have to be done on February 29. No one says (other than the calendar) that is is the “extra” day and it’s gone now. Remember, 2016 is Leap Year! So, since there are 366 days in the year, you still have that extra day available. Now – pick your day, and make it extraordinary – you won’t get another one for another four years.


You don’t want to spend this extra 24 hours on your business? That is totally your decision. As an entrepreneur myself, I have to admit that the 29th came and went without me addressing any of the items listed above. One of the benefits of business ownership is that I have picked another day of the year to use my extra day. Some thoughts are:

  • Take the day off of work to have well-earned R&R
  • Spend the day with the family
  • Read a book I’ve been wanting to read
  • Extend my vacation a day longer than planned

I might even do all four! Take a leap, and make it a good one!