It's time to dream a little at halftime. What do you want your lifestyle and work schedule to look like?
What is Possible?
Is a realistic work schedule a possibility? There is so much talk about work life balance, but let’s be real here. There’s really no total balance of work and life. Work comes in spurts as life events also come in spurts. Take your appliances for example. The washer goes out, then the microwave and finally, you have a massive roof leak. Have you ever wondered why they all happen at once? Couldn't just one of those events happen at a time to space out the inconvenience and expense involved?
In relation to work, a number I often see is a study of 1,989 UK office workers. It was found that most people working 8 hours actually only worked an average of 2 hours and 53 minutes. Social media, talking with colleagues not about work, and even searching for new jobs was eating up the rest of their day!* But is that really all that bad? Most often those workers still get their jobs done, and quite efficiently!
How Much Do You Really Work?
What does your day look like? Some people try to just make their day a long, steady jog. But most studies would suggest, as I have found, dividing up your day to work in concentrated spurts creates not only more total work, but deeper quality work. G.H. Hardy, one of Britain’s leading mathematicians in the first half of the twentieth century said, Four hours creative work a day is about the limit for a mathematician. Now I’m not a mathematician, but know how important it is to take breaks throughout my day to regain clear focus and renewed energy.
Taking planned breaks actually regenerates the brain. I admit, at times it’s hard for me to actually take a break. But I have found from experience that diverting my attention and concentration for a short time truly does open up my mind to discover new solutions and ideas. It adds a feeling of refreshment that stimulates my work. Science also documents the reality of something called the DMN, or default mode network of the brain. Our brains even on break don't actually shut down. Rather, they kind of go into conservation energy mode and DMN continues to reflect on critical issues while we are taking a break.**
Breaks for Creative People
This information about the DMN of the brain should give the creative people reading this permission to take breaks, realizing that even when autopilot your brain is still striving to create! So are you wondering what can you do on your break? Here are some ideas:
If you have a tendency to snack, keep healthy snacks on hand, close by. This sounds logical, but with busy lives, planning healthy food snacks gets pushed to the back of the priority list and becomes just another thing to think about. However, food is fuel and if you want to keep your energy up throughout the day, pay attention to the type of nourishment you put in your body! (FREE Nutrition Goals Download here)
Now get away from your device and go take that much-deserved break! I definitely plan to!
Whether you want to jump start your business, give time and expertise to a worthy organization or just start traveling more, define your desired schedule. Just like a puzzle, when you have the larger pieces in place, the others will start to take shape!
*https://www.vouchercloud.com/resources/office-worker-productivity **Rest: Why You get More Done When you Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang