I’ve got two weeks off over xmas, which I’m really looking forward to. However, January and February are already shaping up to be huge which is playing on my mind as I mentally go through all of the work ahead of me over the coming months! I’m not great at relaxing at the best of times, and in fact my mind is normally racing thinking of what I need and want to do next. However, I’m very aware of how important having quality downtime is, so this is what I’m going to do to make sure I relax over xmas…
Having had a long corporate prior to Outshine, I’ve seen many colleagues over the years store up their annual leave because they were really bad at taking time off. Waiting until you’re burnt out or overly stressed is not a good way to maintain a healthy personal or professional life, so it’s important that you take regular time off to recharge your batteries.
Getting away from work is also a great way to improve your productivity because being tired, sluggish and worn out slows you down and makes you less efficient and effective – neither of which are great for your career or business.
So assuming you’ve made the leap and booked time away from the office, what can you do if you’re like me and find it hard to switch off? Here are a few ideas that I’ll be trying my best to put into practice over the next few weeks…
1. Leave the laptop at home – I know it’s going to feel weird not to log on, or to work on that idea you’ve been contemplating for ages, but after a few days of withdrawal symptoms, you’ll find you CAN cope with being away from your computer! So avoid temptation and leave your laptop at home if you’re going away – you really can do without it and your mind will thank you for it later when you come back refreshed and relaxed.
2. Let Your Out-Of-Office Do It’s Job – There’s a reason why ‘out-of-office’ auto-replies exist. Make sure you let this useful feature do it’s job, so that you can forget about yours for a few days (at least). No-one is indispensable, and generally most requests can wait … and you can always put an ’emergency’ number on your auto-signature so that way you can relax, comfortable in the knowledge that the world is still turning despite your lack of constant email-checking.
3. Give your routine a big shake-up – You don’t have to go away to have a break. If you’re staying at home over Christmas make sure you give your usual routine a miss and instead mix things up. It’s often the little things that can make a big difference, so go out for dinner or order takeaway, leave the washing-up until tomorrow, enjoy a lay in, or spend the day on the sofa watching trashy TV …. anything that’s different to your usual schedule.
4. Get outside – if you’re used to sitting in an office, it’s time to fill those lungs with fresh air and spend some time under the elements. Get back to basics, and be a big kid again. Play cricket, organise a BBQ, go for a run, take the kids to the farm, have a romantic picnic, get out on a boat…. the list goes on, and none of them are expensive or difficult to arrange.
5. Get laughing – last but not least, do something that makes you lose your breath from laughing so hard – it’s one of the best ways to relax and recharge. Consciously hunt out ways to get yourself giggling and enjoy the wonderful effects that laughing has, which include increased happiness, intimacy, a stronger immune system, a boost in energy, diminished pain and a reduction in the damaging effects of stress.
Steps 1 and 2 will be my biggest challenges, but they’re definitely do-able and I’m looking forward to a break from my bulging inbox and the daily pressures of keeping on top of technology. Relaxing Chrimbo? Here I come!
What are you going to do to help you relax over xmas? Post a comment below and let me know….
Get the best career, productivity and small business coaching tips straight to your inbox every week, plus our eBook 'How To Create A Career You Love' (worth $37.00) free when you subscribe.
We respect your privacy. You can remove yourself from the mailing list at any time.
or skip signup