In order to grow you’ve got to switch off


Modern life is tough. We just don’t switch off any more. We need to take a break, from everything. It’s good for the soul. Switching off from everyone and everything can do you the world of good.

Years back when I was setting up my public relations company, I used to visit the various business forums (this was before twitter and facebook were mainstream). You’d see the same names pop up late at night, frantically working and come bank holidays, Easter and Christmas, they’d swap taking a break for more work. The question “whose working this bank holiday” would often be asked.

It created a bit of unease with me. As though if I dared to take some ME time on a public holiday I wasn’t in to my business enough and the whole world would fall apart.

It was bullshit. I see that now. In fact nowadays, I probably work less and get more results – go figure. It’s not that I don’t work hard or work long hours – I do, but I know when it’s time to take a break, step back and shut down – even if it’s just for 24 hours.

Author of Activate Your Life, Andrew McCombe says “We often overlook the importance of proper rest and relaxation, but without it our bodies don’t have time to repair, recuperate and grow.”

EXACTLY. In order to grow you’ve got to switch off. It really is THAT simple. {click to tweet}

Here are 4 reasons why you should to take a break…

To boost your inspiration: I cannot begin to tell you how pumped I am to get back to work after a bit of time off. There’s something about lying on a beach and soaking up the sunshine that just boosts all of these ideas for me.

Aside from a trip to Cuba where I was inspired to close down my business and go back to writing (this is a story for another day) I don’t think I’ve ever returned from a break away without a notebook full of new ideas and new things to explore.

To get to know your family, friends and partner: Last year for his birthday, my boyfriend requested we go to Big Pit. He didn’t want the fancy dinner or a trip away, he just wanted to go down a coal mine (I know, I pulled the face too). Not my first choice of activity – granted but it was his birthday so that’s what we did. After a great day (aside from when I nearly knocked my head off – those pits are LOW) he said how wonderful it was to spend a whole day with me where I wasn’t checking my phone, replying to emails and generally hustling. He was right. We rarely spend days where I’m not checking twitter or responding to emails. Whenever we go on a trip now, work emails are banned, the iPhone email function get’s switched off and I engage in the moment. I can’t tell you how many arguments this has stopped. If you find yourself saying “I’ll just send this email” or “two minutes I need to get this over to XYZ” then you need to step back, switch off the device and start paying attention to your loved ones.

To catch up on sleep: Not having a steady stream of work crap flooding in to my brain = sounder sleep. Deciding to give up on work for a day, week or fortnight is so liberating. I remember my student days when I worked in a bank call centre, once my headset was removed that meant I didn’t think of work until my next shift. I slept sounder. Freelance and entrepreneur life doesn’t mean you need to be switched on 24/7.

Put simply and by Alex CornellGet enough sleep! Sleep is the best (and easiest) creative aphrodisiac.”

Because taking a break is actually a very good cure for procrastination: I don’t know about you but when I have a deadline looming, googling cats on the internet suddenly becomes the best idea in the world. Rather than taking a break, going out and clearing my mind so that when I get back I’ve got a fresh perspective on things I panic, waste time and eventually end up with a cluster-fuck going on in my head. Taking the day off or even a few hours when you’ve a deadline on the horizon may seem like the most ridiculous idea but trust me when I say, it works wonders.

Take in this point from Gala Darling

Taking a break from a project or a person or a piece of work doesn’t mean it’s over. It doesn’t make you a failure or a flake. Perhaps it’s just not the right time. Good things need to gestate properly. Nothing is ever over until you say so.

So the next time you start to feel guilty about taking a break, whether it’s a few hours or a few weeks – don’t. taking time out is good for the soul, it’s good for business and it’s good for your relationships.

I’ll leave you with this:

Overcoming Creative Block

by Debbie Millman

Author: Rachael

I'm a journalist and creative consultant. I write about how busy women (just like you) can live, work and eat - better.

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