The Importance of Downtime on Health and Productivity

by Jun 21, 2021

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

The evidence that emptying your mind is a vital part of being creative and successful is proliferating.

However, many people do not take advantage of their paid vacation time, even if they have access to a week or several weeks off. Most people cancel or postpone vacation time due to actual or perceived job obligations. It is a concerning issue for both large enterprises and family-owned businesses.

Getting away, on the other hand, does not imply leaving the country or even the residence. The goal is to locate a place that allows you to take a mental break from work — and all its anxieties. 

It could be as simple as putting your phone away for a few days. For a few days, stop checking emails and receive regular notifications. It could simply mean “to unplug.”

Some people do this while staying at home (a “staycation”), while others go to the cottage or out of town. In either case, a change of scenery aids in a better complete dissociation from daily problems.

“A vacation allows you to take some well-deserved time off from work and rest and recharge your batteries.”

Work might cause exhaustion and stress if you spend too much time there. This, in turn, has a direct impact on our physical and mental health. A few days away from work might help you refresh and de-stress. However, a weekend is insufficient. Vacation days are supposed to be utilized! 

Last week I wrote about the benefits of the four day work week. I thought I would follow up with writing about the importance of extended downtime. 

Get Enough Sleep

The priority during down time is to get some rest. Solid, high-quality sleep allows your brain and body to rejuvenate. It is a chance to put all you have learned throughout the day into practice. 

Some people claim that they can function on only a few hours of sleep a night, but this is untrue. 

“When you get a healthy eight hours of sleep, you will be more productive, creative, and happy.”

Go on Vacation

The second type of downtime is vacation. A more extended period away from work (at least three to five days) is a great way to recharge your batteries. 

While you are away from your usual routine, you can take a fresh look at your life. When you look at it from the outside, it is easier to see what you want to modify!

“Vacation time allows you some self-reflection and the ability to check in with your life’s trajectory, and make plans for changes as needed.”

Take Regular Breaks

The third type of downtime is the tiniest and most complex. It is those fleeting moments of clarity in your mind that come through meditation, a walk in the woods, participating in sports, or simply sipping a cappuccino on a terrace in the middle of your workday.

Find something you love to do, and go do it. Swimming, biking, reading, whatever it is… use it as your break time.

Importance of Downtime 

Downtime isn’t a luxury, it is a necessity to maintain good mental, physical and emotional health. 

Rest helps you boost mental capacity: A well-rested mind that is free of worry is often more effective and creative. Hence you should plan a vacation regularly.

Time off maintains better physical health: A vacation provides the opportunity to catch up on sleep and exercise, which are two simple remedies for our many aches and pain.

Vacations increase your productivity at work: Despite popular belief, research shows that providing employees with additional vacation time enhances corporate productivity and reduces the number of sick days required. Employees have a better quality of life due to liberal vacation rules, which translates to better work quality. Workers also report feeling more creative after taking time off. And more than 70% of them said they were happier at work when they took regular vacations.

Vacations can help you strengthen relationships: A break is an excellent opportunity to spend time together in a less scheduled setting and build lasting memories together, whether with loved ones.

Vacations remind you to appreciate life: Taking time off can be an excellent opportunity to meet new people, laugh, read, learn, and do the things that you enjoy the most.

Finally, vacations might help you stay young! Chronic stress is proven to hasten biological ageing as well as the ageing process. 

Why don’t you do yourself a favor for your well-being? Make self-care a priority and schedule some time off. Taking regular vacations is one of the most satisfying treatments for keeping well even from a medical standpoint.

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