Did you know that doing ‘nothing’ can actually improve your business? Don’t you find that if you take the time to switch off and do something completely different that you actually come back to work refreshed and ready to get started with some new ideas?
‘Switching off’ can mean a two week sojourn to a luxury Caribbean hideaway…oh hang on I’m daydreaming again…or it could mean something as simple as doing a crossword or listening to a podcast.
Taking a little time out of each day to do something that interests you, relaxes you or just plain passes the time in a different way will sharpen your mind, get you thinking about work issues from a different perspective and could even help you develop your business.
Here are some ideas:
- Embrace technology: if TV watching is your thing, gone are the days of having to watch whatever is on at the moment. All the major TV channels now have a free catch-up service so you can download whatever takes your fancy to watch at a time to suit you. There are lots of free podcasts available too. Even doing the ironing can be a positive learning experience if Professor Brian Cox is explaining the wonders of the Universe at the same time!
- Games Consoles aren’t just for kids: there are some gripping puzzle games you can get for handheld consoles that may become quite addictive! Some of my cleverest friends claim that these games improve their IQ – not that they need the help! There are also brain training games, learn a language games and many other things to sharpen your mind.
- Crosswords/Suduko/Wordsearches: if you’ve never tried a cryptic crossword or ventured into the world of suduko then you’ve missed out on a great opportunity for training your brain. Ease yourself into it by finding less taxing ones and if you’re struggling there is loads of help online to get you started. Crosswords and Suduko are recommended by doctors to slow the onset of dementia in elderly patients and they can be useful for improving your memory and concentration skills (all vital for a successful business).
- Online Games: from solitaire to black jack there is something for everyone at every level of risk. These games require your full concentration, taking your mind away from vexing issues. You will return to your work refreshed and your subconscious may well have worked out a few solutions for you!
- Ebooks: there is a world of ebooks out there to help motivate you and develop your business. Some ebooks can be read in a spare ten minutes you might have waiting for a phonecall. If you have a few downloaded ready then you will never be short of something to fill spare time.
- Books: if you’re an avid reader anyway how about reading something outside your comfort zone like an autobiography? Or maybe join a book group to hear other people’s opinions about novels (it may even be a chance to do some networking!)?
- News/Newspapers: lots of newspapers and trade journals are available to read online so even if you don’t have time to buy a paper then there is no excuse for not keeping up to date. Use the catch up service mentioned above to watch current affairs programmes if they’re on too late for you to watch live. Keeping abreast of general news and news relevant to your industry is not an indulgence, it’s vital for generating fresh ideas and being aware of factors that might affect your business.
So what are you waiting for? Cast aside the guilt and schedule in ‘downtime’ – you’ll notice a vast improvement in your ‘uptime’!