The Importance of Taking Time Out
I just got home from two fabulous weeks of holidaying in Australia. My break was a timely reminder of the importance of taking time out to look after yourself.
It’s easy to get tied up in a project you’re passionate about, like my dream of building an urban gardening community in Auckland, to the point that you forget how important it is to take time out. When I’m doing something I love, I often don’t feel like I need breaks, or that breaks would be more of a hindrance than a help. But I don’t think you can keep working that way for a long time and still achieve good results. I find that my ability to think creatively and my capacity for critical thinking start to suffer, even if I’m still feeling motivated to continue what I’m doing. And I know that if I push myself too hard for too long, I’ll stop enjoying what I’m doing, which is completely counter-productive.
There’s lots of different ways to take the time out you need to keep motivated.
Happyzine Editor Charlotte has committed to including Fun and Chillaxation in her life every day. Just a short period of time out can be enough to make you feel chillaxed and keep your enthusiasm high.
My life coach Clem McGrath (whom Happyzine connected me with as part of the DreamtoReality competition) is a strong advocate for the importance of time out. He suggests that if you’re struggling with low motivation or feeling overwhelmed, you should schedule some time out. It’s not enough to tell yourself you’ll have some time out later in the week when you’ve got more done. It’s too easy to renege on that decision if you still feel busy and stressed later in the week (which you probably will if you haven’t taken time out). Clem suggests scheduling two or three appointments with yourself each week. The appointment might be to go for a long walk in the park, have a bubble bath, or read a novel in the sun. The important thing is you have to treat it like an appointment by scheduling in a block of time in your diary and respecting that time like you would with any other appointment or meeting.
As well as making time to chillax each day, and dedicating some larger chunks of time to appointments with yourself each week, I think it’s important to have longer breaks from time to time too. I feel so re-energised from my two weeks away that I’m ready to tackle some tasks I’d been putting off before I went away.
How do you take time out for yourself? Have you taken enough time out lately?