Monday, 1 February 2016

The Importance of Taking Time Off

I feel like a bit of a hypocrite writing this as it is often something I forget to do, but today I wanted to talk about the importance of taking a step back from the never-ending to-do list and having some time to yourself.

I think my own overworking tendencies kicked in when I started university. I'd always been a fairly productive student, but on my Bachelors Degree I was suddenly in a class with sixty other people, and I realised that just being good wasn't enough to make me stand out. I needed to excel, and that was when I started setting ridiculously high standards for myself. Don't get me wrong - I think it's good to have a strong work ethic, but I had a poor work-life balance which really burned me out.

As I went from university to being self-employed, I've pretty much always worked from home, which means I don't have a set amount of hours like those who work in an office 9-5. I've always thought that if I worked all day, every day, that I would get a lot more done - but it turns out that sitting at my desk from the moment I wake up until bedtime isn't really working out for me. I end up getting distracted, spending a cheeky half-hour here and there watching YouTube videos or planning my dream wardrobe on Pinterest. If I don't make time to unwind, it turns out I'll just end up doing it anyway. 

However, when I make time to do something thoroughly un-productive like binge-watch Jessica Jones episodes on Netflix or build a new neighbourhood on The Sims, it's like pressing the reset button. I sleep better, I feel calmer, happier, and all of those things mean that I actually look forward to getting back to work. When I can't think of an idea for a new blog post, going on a short walk is much more likely to get my ideas going than staring at a computer screen and waiting for something to happen.

Now I just need to keep reminding myself to have a break when I feel like I need to, and more importantly to trust that I will be work harder as a result. It's still something I need to practice, but I finally feel like my work-life balance is a little more balanced.

1 comment:

  1. Have you ever tried doing the 20 minutes of work for a 10 minute break and repeating that? I find it really helps to refresh me as I always start to get bored about 15 minutes in! x

    Jodie // Jodie Loue