Remember to take some time offTuesday, 25 July 2017
Taking a break or having time off is important and it's something that often gets put to the side. In this video I'm going to talk about taking time off from work and why you shouldn't ignore it.
When you're working, your job becomes part of your identity and so it can be difficult for people to separate themselves from it. Some people say they have too much work to do to take time off, some say they don't see any point in taking time off to sit around and do nothing, and some people are so happy to have a job and the ability to prove their abilities that they forget to take care of themselves.
There are real benefits to taking time off though, so let's go through them.
It's helpful in avoiding burn out. Have you ever done an activity over and over again to the point where you became frustrated with the activity, lost focus and became less productive, or just lacked the motivation or interest to finish the task? These are common signs of burnout and occur with people that go for extended periods without taking some time off work. Taking a ten minute break can help, but sometimes you need more than that.
We all have our on and off days and these symptoms are often the result of a temporary slump. If you find this occurring frequently, even when you've only been doing a task for a short time, you might be in the wrong job. That's a different discussion for a different video though.
As the idea is take action before you reach breaking point, if you find yourself struggling, it may be a good time to take a short break.
Break out of your routine and refresh yourself. Some people like the structure and comfort having a routine brings. For other people, they need a little variety every now and again. This is where taking a break comes in.
Getting up from your desk and walking away for a few minutes is a good way to refresh yourself.
Think about when you step away from your desk for several minutes, or how you feel Monday morning after the weekend. You usually find yourself feeling somewhat refreshed. Imagine how an extra couple of days or even a week away would make you feel. Taking some time off means you'll be at your best when you return to work.
Become more creative
It can boost your creativity. Doing the same thing day in, day out, can take a toll on your ideas. Your creativity begins to drain and you have difficulty coming up with new ideas, or seeing things from different perspectives.
If you've ever been trying to solve a problem and you find yourself thinking in a loop, the same ideas keep going through your head and you're unable to think of new approaches to try, you know what creativity drain is like. I find in these sorts of situations that once I step away and do something else, new ideas start to come to me for the task I was stuck on.
When you're away from work your perspective changes, your thought patterns change, and so when you return to work you're looking at things with fresh eyes and new ideas that haven't been influenced by what you were previously thinking.
It's handy to keep something nearby to write down your ideas as they come to you, a notepad, your phone, a computer. Something to record your ideas because they can disappear and change as quickly as they appear if you don't write them down. Getting an idea and thinking,
I need to remember that for next week, rarely works.
It's good for your physical and mental health. We all need to unwind occasionally, to be able to sit back and not think about anything work related for a while. If you overdo it at work, you can become stressed and even make yourself sick. Which brings us to sick leave.
Not all time away from work is a holiday. When you get sick you may wonder whether or not it's worth going into work. It's better to use your sick leave and get better, than go to work, make yourself worse and potentially spread your illness to your co-workers, causing even more people to need to take time off.
You may have an easy job, you may have a stress free job, but that doesn't mean you should work all year round without taking some time off. It doesn't have to be a long break, just make sure you look after yourself, so you can stay at peak performance.