The need for downtime

Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick…your brain is full, the creases are marking your forhead and the To-Do list is growing.
When can you close up shop and head out? Your stomach is growling, the weekend relaxation calls and your family and friends nudge you into distraction.
If you don’t say NO, you feel like a dunce. If you don’t say YES, you feel irresponsible.
What’s a professional to do?

Take a break. It’s that simple.
Breaks give us pause. With that comes clarity. When we drive 74 mph in the interstate, we can be in control. But if it starts to rain, let alone thunder, and then, if we are in unfamiliar territory, 74 mph is too fast. Slowing down is critical. Better yet, pulling off to the side of the road is best.
The same is true for us in our professional lives. When we drive at a steady yet fast pace, nobody wins. We make mistakes, don’t spend time in reflection and our perspective gets out of focus.
We need to take downtime. Personally speaking, I didn’t use to take enough. As an entrepreneur, the person in charge of my own business, I worked at both ends of the day regularly. And although one would think that leads to progress, it didn’t. I didn’t think clearly and ended up doing things I regretted. And I always felt tired.
Same with lawyers and other professionals. Working IN business is tiring enough, then add the ON business segment. Without breaks, these things sap our energy and our effectiveness.
I learned the power of 7-10 day vacations. It is just enough time for me to get completely relaxed and then begin to get antsy to get back to my professional focus. That’s key – get antsy to get back.
What works for you? Long weekends? A month off? Whatever works, do it. Or the universe will see to it that it happens some way or other, and usually in ways that aren’t very enjoyable.
Gain clarity, focus, energy and purpose. Take time off. The holidays are approaching. Perfect excuse for doing so, until you learn to explain why you need it. Then before you get back into action, schedule your next downtime, however long it is. You’ll have that to look forward to.
Want assistance with self-management? I am happy to provide some coaching to give you tips about your own circumstances. 

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On July 30th, 2011, posted in: business building, energy, focus, vacation by