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The value of taking time off

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Just back in the saddle after the holidays I’ve reflected on the value of taking time off.

I my self was neck deep in work before I took a break for the holidays. Like many others I then thought to myself, do I have time for time off? There are just so many things that needed to be done. With deadlines ranging from yesterday to tomorrow. But in the end I took that time off, and it came with a bunch of advantages.

First of all I’m coming back to work with more energy and enthusiasm than when I left. But perhaps more importantly giving myself room to breath gave me an insight. I was not prioritizing between my tasks properly. That is not to say I did not prioritize, of course I did. But with some time to think I have realized that I can do a better job at prioritizing. I can spend more time on the stuff that matters, and be a little bit more ruthless in saying no to the things that don’t.

The proof is in … Forbes, Entrepreneur and Inc

And if you don’t just want to take my advice, there’s plenty of research to show the value of taking time off. Heavy weights Forbes, Inc and Entrepreneur have all written about the topic in the last few years.

Forbes wrote two years ago about new research showing that time off benefits productivity, employee morale, retention and more in their article “Take A Vacation: It’s Good For Productivity And The Economy, According To A New Study”.

Entrepreneur wrote a great piece packed with insight and advice later that same year. They talk about how breaks increase performance, from extended vacations down to microbreaks of 30 seconds. In “The Secret to Increased Productivity: Taking Time Off” they point to research showing that constantly draining your resources is making you less productive. They also mention how this is counterintuitive in our culture of showing dedication through hours.

Finally Inc listed some ideas and tips for recharging in “Why Taking Time Off Is Good for Your Brain”.

Finally there has been plenty of TED talks by various people on the value of taking time off. Stefan Sagmeister explains in his “The power of time off” TED talk how he takes it to unheard levels, by shutting down his business one calendar year every seven years.

The TL; DR

Take time off! It is good for you.

It is also good for your productivity and performance. I’ve experienced it myself, and there’s plenty of research to show the value of taking time off.

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Alexander Sandstrom

Passionate product manager with a love for technology and innovation. More about me.

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