Regardless of what you do for a living, it is really important to take breaks (or mini-retirements) whenever you get a chance. It’s even more important if your career involves working for yourself. Why? Because people that work for themselves (myself included), tend to be very hard on themselves. I constantly feel like I need to be working as hard as possible all the time.
Below are a few things that I really enjoy about taking breaks from time to time:
They Give Me Time To Think
Of all the things I have done while taking breaks, thinking is the biggest of them all. When I am constantly working on multiple projects, it can become really difficult to juggle everything and find time to just site back and think.
When I take a break, I can just sit back and clear my mind and think about the things I’ve been putting off. Plus I can look at my business and career and make decisions on what I should be doing to get to the next level.
They Allow Me To Do Other Things
The main thing I started doing while taking breaks is working out. I started cycling more often, weight lifting, swimming, and spending more time outside. And just recently, I committed myself to the P90X program. The best part of all, is doing these things costs little to no money. Which makes them the perfect activities to do on your break so you do not have to worry about money.
I have gotten in much better shape and feel great. It’s really easy to sit at your computer everyday and forget to workout. I did that for almost 6 months and could feel the difference as I started to gain a little weight and lost my endurance.
Besides working out, I also started reading more books. I picked up a library card and started checking out books. This is another way to stay occupied without spending any money.
They Refresh My Mind
Just like thinking about, breaks also allow me to refresh my mind. I can forget about my career for awhile and just spend time thinking about other things. It’s amazing how much better I feel when I am not constantly checking my email and focusing on the next task I have to get done. I can just sit back and relax and just enjoy the small things in life.
They Bring Back My Motivation
Of all the things I have noticed from taking breaks, the one thing that really sticks out is how my motivation comes back. There are many times when I get worn down from working on projects and start to question my career decisions. However, as soon as I return from a break, I am super motivated to get back to working on various things. I have seen my best work come immediately following a break.
So How Do You Plan A Break?
For many people, it may be difficult to plan a break. What I suggest doing is doing a bunch of projects in the beginning of the month. For example, last month I did a few large projects early on and then took the second half of the month off. This may not work for everyone and it depends a lot on your schedule and your business.
There are also different levels of breaks. Sometimes I will still spend time on my computer checking email and working on various things, but no where near as much time as normal. Other times, I will try and avoid the computer entirely for awhile (this can be difficult).
So if you can’t take a complete break, just try to cut back on your hours for a week or so. Even this will help you refresh your mind and enjoy the good things in life.
Photo Credit: Andreanna