Life can be busy. That’s all the more reason to take some time off.
When was the last time you took advantage of your free time? I understand, life is busy. Even when you’re not working, there’s always something that needs to be done. Taking anytime for yourself feels lazy to some people. But while staying busy is important, so is leisure time. It doesn’t need to be a lot of time – even a few hours here and there can really help. If you’re not allowing yourself some time to relax and reflect, you could be doing yourself a big disservice. Have a look at some of the reasons the occasional leisure time is so important.
Makes you more productive.
To some professionals, the thought of stopping their work to be more productive will sound insane. I know that I always have more than enough work to occupy my time, and it can be hard to convince yourself you should take a time-out. But when we’re taking on too much, we often become slower in the work, we make more mistakes and it ends up costing us more time in the end. Stepping back from work helps us to clear our minds and can actually improve our problem solving. You can return to work refreshed and ready to accomplish more.
Most of us experience some amount of stress in our jobs. It’s unpleasant but if we can manage it, then we often learn to live with it effectively. The problems come when you overwhelm yourself with work and don’t allow yourself the time to manage your stress. Engaging in a leisure activity has been shown to act as a stress relief. Research shows that people who step away from work on the weekends do experience less stress than those who continue working even on days off. Give yourself time away from these situations so you can better learn to deal with them.
Improves your mood.
Much like with stress, some occasional leisure time has been shown to improve people’s moods. The demands of work and issues you run into on the job can be frustrating. It’s hard to escape that frustrated feeling if you never allow yourself an opportunity to step outside that atmosphere. Sometimes, a little time away from a frustrating situation can give you clarity and help you overcome the problem.
Helps you achieve work-life balance.
Despite what some think, it is possible to achieve a balance between working and taking time for yourself. Work-life balance is a growing priority for many professionals – especially those entering the so-called “retirement years”. But in order to achieve that, one needs to know where to separate the two. Taking your leisure time seriously allows you to establish those rules and structure between when you are working and when you are not.
Keeps you active.
Boomers are an active group and seem very cautious about becoming “lazy”. But allowing yourself time to relax doesn’t mean you have to be inactive. In fact, the opposite is often true. When we are consumed by work, we often neglect being physically active. You can use your free-time, however, for hiking, bike riding, sports or any of the activities you don’t normally have time for. This time away from work affords you the opportunities to get out and get moving.
It’s good to be proud of your work ethic, but keep in mind that leisure time is something to be embraced, not ignored.