How to Take More Time Off

And Get More Done

 

The last few years have been busy beyond belief. We can get so tied up in our lives and our businesses that we just work and work and work and put everything on hold.  We let our health take a back seat because we think the more time we put in the more work we’ll get done.

One problem if you love your job, is that you really are drawn to your desk and the work.  You can confuse working more with leisure time.

When my son moved to England and started working, he’d show up early with enthusiasm and work alone until 9:30 or 10:00 when everyone else showed up.  He got 60 days off for vacation time his first year on the job.  As an entrepreneur, I’ve never taken 60 days off in a year, never.  I think he’s going to be at 90 days soon.  They start late, take mandatory lunch and afternoon breaks, and they are incredibly productive.

So, what can we learn about time off that will help us to be more productive and happier all around?

Cathy Sykora

Cathy Sykora

Founder, The Health Coach Group

Cathy helps health coaches build and maintain successful businesses that improve the lives of others.

Why Take a Break?

As an entrepreneur, we’re used to making decisions all day long and all week long.  It can be exhausting.  Taking a break can alleviate the exhaustion and allow us to carry on.

Some of the most unhealthy careers, truck drivers, office workers, computer technology; are all unhealthy because of the fact that the workers sit, and sit, and sit.  Getting up and moving away or stopping and walking can make all the difference in the world.  Sitting still puts us at a greater risk for diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and depression.

I love creative work.  When I’m creating something, I work and there is excitement.  The ideas and results seem to flow like water, then I hit a wall.  It’s like I cranked too hard and too long and my mind refuses to produce.  This happens to a lot of people more than you know.  A break that clears the mind and gets some oxygen flowing can turn things around and get the ideas flowing once again.

Which leads us to another topic; when not to take a break.  Don’t take a break when you are in the flow.  If you’re writing a newsletter and the words are flowing and the thoughts are all coming together, don’t stop.

Good ideas, solutions, “aha” moments come more to a rested mind.  I don’t know about you, but I wake up in the middle of the night or the morning and have a solution to a challenge just “pop” into my head.  That’s a good argument for daily naps.

Time Out During the Day

Taking breaks during the day can actually boost individual performance at work. The important distinction is how we spend our breaks.  According to Psychology Today, one of the biggest problems is that we don’t choose well when we do take a little time away.

Effective break time activities:

  • Meditation, relax, focus, and clarify.
  • Physical exercise helps with focus and attention.
  • Nap, studies show that a nap reduces stress and improves cognitive function.
  • Learning something new can boost confidence and motivate.
  • Breathe, a few seconds to just breathe can relieve stress and realign thoughts.
  • Help someone is the answer to almost everything, It makes you feel connected, needed and appreciated.
  • Goal setting (not sure I consider this a break) helps you to see the bigger picture and visualize.

Resources

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-wide-wide-world-psychology/201704/why-and-how-you-should-take-breaks-work

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/changepower/201704/how-do-work-breaks-help-your-brain-5-surprising-answers

 

 

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