Let’s talk about taking time off, and why it’s important, and how to do it. Something that I’ve learned from the masters is that the more time off you take, the more productive you become in the rest of your work. Now, I know that this sounds like it almost couldn’t be true, but work with me here for a moment. Our bodies, and our minds, and our emotions they go through a cycle where they produce effort, and they produce results, and then they kind of recover. And they need to go through this cycle. It’s the nature cycle of things. It’s the way everything that’s alive actually works.
What most of us are doing in this modern day and age is we’re just burning ourselves out by working all the time. And we don’t notice it because it’s not obvious, but the quality of our effort time off manager, and the quality of our results is going down. And this may sound simple, but the way to take more time off is to actually schedule it in advance; to actually make that the highest priority thing that you do.
One of the things that I’ve discovered over the last few years as I’ve started scheduling more time off, and really trying to separate the time that I spend working and focused from the time that I spend off and recovering, and rejuvenating, is that when I go away for a few days, or I go on a trip somewhere – I was actually just gone for a week, and I was completely unplugged from the internet, from the telephone, from everything. And when I come back, I can see everything differently.
Leonardo da Vinci said take some time off once in a while, and go away from your work, and when you come back you’ll see it differently; you’ll have a different perspective. And often times, when I come back from even just a day off – a full day without any focus on work, I’ll see the answer to something that had been perplexing me for a long time because I just got outside of it, and now I’m kind of looking at it whole.
So if you want to take more time off, take more time off, and watch how it actually increases your productivity. Go to your calendar right now, and mark off a couple of days to take off. Maybe it’s a weekend, maybe it’s a couple of days during the week depending on your schedule, but mark a couple of days, and just take them off. And completely unplug, and do whatever you need to do in order to take that time off.
Tim Ferriss tells the story in his book The 4-Hour Workweek about how he decided that he was going to go away from his business, and he was going to be gone, and not check his email for something like a month. And all the preparation to get ready to set his business up, so he could take time off made him think in a new way, and it turned out that by doing all these things, and by taking time off his business actually increased. It’s a lesson that we could all learn. When you force yourself, when you make yourself take time off and when you schedule it, it makes you think differently. It makes you put things in place. It’ll actually increase your results in your productivity. So start taking more time off. Start scheduling your time off. Start putting it in your calendar and watch your productivity skyrocket.