Taking Time Off and Procrastination

If you’ve read the Procrastination Manifesto, then you know I believe that procrastination is a symptom and should be used as a tool to identify certain things in your life. One of the examples I like to use to describe this is taking a day off and here is why.

You are busy, you have a ton of things to do and then you receive a phone call. You are invited to spend a day out in the fun and the sun at the beach. It’s the middle of the week. You really have so much to do. Wednesday comes and you are at the beach with your caller. What happened? Didn’t you have a lot to do? What does that say about you?

Two things to keep in mind: the person who works and works and does not take time off will burn out faster than the person who does not. The second thing is that you should check yourself when you do something like this. Were the things you “had” to do so important after all? If they were important to you, you might not have taken the day off. So what is really happening here?

I can tell you from personal experience that taking one day away from the computer, the work-at-home, the sameness of every day is a recipe for better mood, creativity and fun. It is also a wake up call that with a little organization, you can systems in place that even if you are not available, your work is done. You have to decide how you are going to structure your life to take advantage of opportunities like a fun day out on the beach, a movie or just a relaxing day with nothing to do.

I know I’ve been asking you to sit down in a quiet place for 15 minutes or so almost every day. I believe if you are honest with yourself and figure these things out now, it will become easier to carve time for yourself later and the exercise of analyzing what is going out will be faster and simpler every time. All the work you do upfront will pay awesome dividends lately. I am living proof of that. So get to work and above all, save time for fun.

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