During summer many feel the need to jam pack everything in – work, vacation and some summer fun. Yet many times when we are on vacation or even having fun, the work part of ourselves is ever-present in the background. Taking a full break from work can let your mind relax, wander and dream.
Rest can also come from cleaning up the To Do List… more on this later.
When your mind wanders and relaxes it can make connections between pieces of information it never has before. Taking the time to relax now can help increase your productivity later.
When you step away from any situation several things happen – you can see the big picture better and you notice new details that have been around you the whole time. It can be difficult to see the big picture when you are a part of it each and every day. When you look at your day from afar you can view your day strategically vs execution of a To Do list waiting for you. This new vantage point can open new opportunities for you, or you might even discover a new method or path to pursue.
Stepping away can lead to innovation as well, as you allow your brain to be inspired by other things around you.
Think of it in terms of your senses. What senses have you NOT used lately – have you taken the time to smell, feel and see the world around you? Have you driven down a road and one day noticed something you have never seen before? This always makes me wonder how long it has been there, or whether it is truly new. Rediscovering our senses can be key to stimulating creativity. According to psychologist Eric Maesel, in his Psychology Today article featuring creative coach Lisa Tener, “Creativity is a whole person activity.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/rethinking-mental-health/202105/how-use-your-5-senses-stimulate-creative-flow
Another item that can help you reset is to close the open loops you have as they decrease your productivity. Wondering what the heck is an “open loop”!?! Open loops are tasks that you have on your to-do list repeatedly that have not been tackled yet. (Yep, I might have a few of them)
When you have an open loop, your brain has to continually remember it. Even when it is not in the forefront of our thoughts, it is still there nagging in the background. I do not know about you but there are times getting the task done would have been faster than the number of times I have written it down on one to-do list and transferred it to my next list!
We feel like taking a vacation will help all things, but I’d like to suggest that taking regular time to step away from the daily rigors is the real game changer. Being intentional with our time is the key here. We have to create new habits – starting with one small moment at a time which can grow into larger moments. The key is to take the moment!!! It can be defeating to think that we have to take a long sensory break, and so we put it aside to start a different day. But practicing mindfulness and connecting with your senses can start with just one minute. The productivity hack to set a timer and focus on a given task for a prescribed length of time is useful in this scenario. Have you ever set a timer to see how much you can get done in 5 minutes…1 minute when you set your mind to it? You can follow the same process for work AND for rest.
Productivity and how to make the most of our time is something we are all chasing. Slow down and enjoy the moments in front of you, your mind will thank you later.