For those of you who don’t know, I live in New York City, but I grew up in Rhode Island. My husband and I both grew up there (we went to junior high and high school together) and we bought a summer place down by the water. It’s heaven. It is our happy place.
I’m a summer girl with a summer birthday and I get excited about the time that I’m going to spend with my family and friends at the beach. I love thinking about the waves of my business and the times of the year and how I really get deliberate about my work so that I can have downtime and playtime. So, today I want to look at the power of downtime.
The Benefits of Downtime
Having more downtime is not only good for you and your overall happiness, but it’s also going to make you better at your job. Once you believe that that’s true, you’ll start to schedule more downtime.
There’s a lot of science that shows that the creativity we get does magic in our business is not happening when we’re deep in a task; it happens when we’re away from the task. How many times do you come up with a great idea when you’re in the shower? Our brains need to get out of the task-oriented work to make connections. That’s the power of our subconscious mind. We need the downtime, in order for that creativity to happen. It does not happen when you’re laser-focused, knee-deep inside a task (or super distracted on social media), it happens when you free up your brain.
Downtime also helps restore your batteries. Fatigue and burnout is a real thing and we have been living in a culture where the harder you work, the more important you are. This is simply not true. It’s also not healthy and doesn’t lead to your best work. Finding time to step away, get into nature, exercise, meditate, go to lunch with friends, see a great Broadway show, do some yoga, etc helps you recharge your batteries. Ladies, it also helps us reestablish our adrenal health. Our adrenals control our cortisol and when we are never allowing ourselves to truly have some downtime, laugh, play, have fun and stop thinking about work, we are still taxing our adrenals and as women, this is what leads to weight gain, hormonal imbalances, sleep issues, and many other health problems.
I am someone that loves to do a lot of things and sometimes struggles to just have an empty calendar. But finding the time to recharge your batteries is more important than cranking away on the work because you cannot crank away on the work forever if you don’t recharge the batteries.
The power of downtime is that you get to live your life. Very few people at the end of their life wish they had done more work. My guess is you and I are not going to be those people either. Letting go of expectations that society and you place on yourself and just really having a deliberate design of your life that you deliberately create and spending time on the things that matter to you, is your most important job. Of course, work is there, and finding the downtime is going to lead to more productivity and creativity at work and it’s going to lead to you being able to do more of all of the things that you love.
How to Get More Downtime
So, how do you get more downtime?
- Delegating work. Who Not How by Dan Sullivan.
- Start saying “no” to things that are not important to you.
- Schedule that downtime into your day and hold it sacred, work around it.
Hopefully, this has sparked some curiosity in you and if you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with me.
In the meantime, remember, you are magnetic and people are waiting to hear what you have to say.