Take a break – it will make you more productive!

This weekend, my husband insisted that I needed to do something fun. It was a beautiful day, and we’ve had a month of six day work weeks. Also, our kids were going stir crazy (and to be honest, I was probably a little stir crazy, too!)

So, we went to a local nature sanctuary called the Enchanted Forest.

 

The Enchanted Forest Nature Sanctuary has hiking trails, gopher tortoises, and a hands on visitors center. Also – it’s free!

As I’ve alluded to here, I wanted to have a productive weekend: I wanted to work on my tax return, catch up on paper work, improve my blog (because I love you!), clean my house, and ten or twenty other things. And I don’t want to pretend that all that stuff isn’t important, but it’s also important to take a break.

We all had a lot of fun, enjoyed the sanctuary, played scrub bingo, learned about microscopes and came back feeling like we’d really done something refreshing this weekend.

Here’s what I learned about myself (and re-learned about time management) this weekend.

  1. You’re probably going to over-estimate how much you can accomplish in a given amount of time. If you look at my list of things I wanted to do this weekend – that’s probably a more appropriate list of what I can accomplish in a month. So, it’s really not fair to me to give myself a hard time for not fitting it into a weekend.
  2. You’re more productive when you give yourself a break. We’re human beings, not machines. When I try to work 10 hours a day, I am less focused, less productive, less creative and less fun to be around. Recharging is an important part of productivity.
    Fun fact: when the 40 hour work week became standard across America, people thought that productivity would drop because people were working less, but people actually became MORE productive when they worked less.
  3. Going outside is good for you. The best way to get vitamin D is from sunshine. I don’t really know what vitamin D does, but my understanding is it’s really important and that’s why our milk is fortified with it. Fresh air is also good.

So, I encourage you to find a trail, a park, a yard or to roll down your windows in your car and enjoy some fresh air and also to remember that taking breaks is good, and that everything doesn’t have to get done today!