Are you getting the most out of your breaks and time off from work? Taking a step back (or away) could be one of the greatest sources to help you achieve work life balance, but most of us aren’t using them properly.
In order to stay motivated at work, reduce stress and keep on trucking, decompression is a must: a little each day or time away every once in a while.
Check out below the 5 ways you can leverage your breaks and time off to a greater degree, as to achieve a greater balance and happiness. They are made up of areas that are within your reach and do not touch upon the other areas which may (or may not) be within your capability or wishes…such as exercise, meditation, yoga and more…even though these can definitely improve your overall feeling nonetheless.
Work breaks and time off tips:
- Forced breaks: we all get lost in our work here and there by immersing ourselves and juggling many projects, managing inbox overload and having ongoing deadlines hovering over our heads. Due to this, we must remind ourselves that breaks are our friends, both for our sanity as well as for actual work productivity. One easy way to make sure we take those breaks is the Pomodoro technique. This breaks down your day into so-called ‘bite-size’ sessions, as to make sure you attend items per a schedule you set, and alerts you when a session is finished and it’s time for a short break. It is easy to begin with the Pomodoro “tomato-timer” or simply set an alarm to make sure you stop what you’re doing when it goes off, get up from your sit and take a breather you truly deserve.
- Deadlines for vacation time use: while some may object to this, as they would prefer saving days up and taking a longer vacation, there is a reason for a vacation in the first place…to disconnect and rest. Having deadlines to use such days or they are gone makes sure that employees get time away, rejuvenate, and avoid burnout at work in a timely manner…and not once every three+ years.
- Consideration of personal, health and family issues: employers must understand that sometimes ‘s#*t happens’, which means that some issues outside of work will affect the individual in many ways, including harming their actual work productivity. For that, ears must be open and courtesy needs to be in place to provide extra time away without stressing it being taken from sick days, vacation days, or a decrease in pay. This is of course on a case-by-case basis as some may abuse a courteous employer beyond their personal need.
- Overtime and weekend work may be expected…but not all the time: in this day and age, it seems we are always connected, so we end up working even on our time off: at home, on weekends and overtime. This is understandable as the digital age keeps us always connected and things are happening at all times. Still, this should be limited, as to make sure work and life are balanced and remain separate. This of course also requires the boss to set their expectations in check, what is urgent, what can be delayed, and what doesn’t truly require the employee’s participation.
- Reinforce your employees when needed: there are certain times when many may aim for time off, yet if it is a busy season, it isn’t always feasible. In such cases, hiring reinforcements can both help the organization deal with the added work, as well as find a way for the individual to take the long awaited time away and avoid harming their work as well.
Do you take regular breaks off at work? How do you make sure that time off is just that…time off?