I touched on this with “Be Unavailable.” Always being accommodating teaches people – particularly your employer – that your time is not as important as their time. You may intend to be a team player, but how it gets interpreted is that you are “people-pleasing” and they will not respect you and likely exploit you.
I had a day carved out and gave it up because of the staff meetings. Then I let my employer talk me out of another day to help him set up another ministry. Do you think he appreciated it? Naaaah… As often as he could, he’d dump that shit on me and manipulate the dynamics so that if I wasn’t there, shit would fall apart. (He also dumped stuff on me on my regular duties.) I just did it because I’m used to doing a lot of work.
Don’t think that it ends with your “day”, either. Trust me. It spills over.
Everyone gets days off, right? My ministry partner had days off to attend weddings and concerts in different parts of the country. Even took a cruise and a vacation in the Dominican Republic. Whatever… I’m not bagging on him. When he said he was out, my employer said “Oh… Go have a good time!”
Do you think I was treated the same way? Nope. Because I “taught” my employer that my time wasn’t as valuable, he thought he was entitled to evaluate the validity of the days I took. One time I took a weekend to help someone in our church with a summer ministry. Employer blew his stack during a staff meeting and said “One and done.” He even used this “discretion” to manipulate the arguments leading up to my termination.
This same guy would be “encouraging” me to take days off during staff meetings and get the entire staff to jump in. Be wary of this. It’s another form of alienation and gaslighting. There are four days I didn’t take that I never got paid for.
Take your downtime. Don’t let your employer evaluate it, particularly if he doesn’t do so for the rest of your co-workers. Your “downtime” is yours. Take it. Don’t let your employer push you into doing stuff you don’t get paid to do.