downtime

No Matter Who You Are, You Need Downtime

When was the last time you enjoyed some downtime with your friends or family, dabbled in your hobbies, or just chilled out? If you can’t even remember when the last time was, this post is for you!

Mainstream culture tells us that we need to work, work, work – but is this really an effective strategy? Not at all! Click to Tweet!

I cannot stress enough how important it is to set aside time for play.

Step Away from Your Desk!

ReadingIn fact, according to a recent post on Zappos Insights, “Numerous studies support that small frequent breaks throughout the day increase productivity, creativity, and decrease stress.”

So, even enjoying small bursts of downtime has its benefits.

Although it may seem surprising, Onlinebusinessdegree.org says that people who spend at least some of their time browsing the web (less than 20%) are about 9% more productive than those who don’t.

And the next time you’re feeling chained to your desk, staring bleary-eyed at your monitor, think about this: a 15 second break taken every 10 minutes lowers fatigue by a whopping 50%!

Downtime as the Antidote to Stress

Why stress can be your allyIf you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know I talk a lot about stress as well as the critical role self-care plays in your life. It’s easy to see why the subject of downtime is closely associated with these topics.

When life becomes overwhelming and you start to focus mainly on the stressful situation, you become the dog chasing his tail – round and round and round you go – never accomplishing anything.

When overwhelm takes over your life and you keep focusing on the problem without ever taking time away, you put yourself at a huge risk for burnout.

I’ve often said that self-care is the foundation of all true success, and part of self-care is the ability to manage stress effectively. That’s where downtime comes in! No matter how much time you feel you can take away, there are literally thousands of fun ways to spend your downtime. Read on for a few fun ideas!

How Much Time Do You Have?

I have some creative ideas for you, no matter if you have 5 minutes, an hour – or much longer – to kick back. Ready?  Click to Tweet!

If you have 5 minutes, you could:Timer

  • Find and share a cute or funny YouTube video.
  • Check in with a friend or family member.
  • Take a quick glance at your Facebook page. (Zappos Insights says that employees may be up to 10% more efficient when they check social media regularly…who knew?!)

If you have 15 minutes to kick back, you could:

  • Go for a quick coffee break and see who you can chat with along the way.
  • Take a walk outdoors or even just stand outside and take in the beauty of nature.
  • Catch up on a few pages in that book you’ve been reading.

Have an hour? You could:

  • Plan a meetup, or as Zappos suggests, host a lunch-and-learn to learn or teach a new skill over your lunch hour!
  • Sneak away for a quick shopping trip to your favorite store.
  • Get a fresh manicure and enjoy some time for pampering.

If you’d like to plan some extended downtime, you could:

  • Finally go on that vacation you’ve been talking about forever.
  • Get away with your friends for an evening.
  • Plan a fun weekend trip with your friends or romantic partner.

With all these ideas, there’s no excuse not to enjoy some time out for play!

I want to hear from you – what’s your very favorite way to spend downtime? Share your comments below.

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