It took me a while to finally realize this, but me-time is really business-time in disguise.
Taking a break to do something for yourself allows you to de-stress and maintain a positive mindset towards the work that you’re doing. Sometimes you just need to step away for a bit in order to clear your head. This is why a lot of people choose to leave their cubes and go out to lunch or grab coffee – physically separating yourself from your work can make your calmer and more level headed. This is exactly the mindset you want to be in if you are customer-facing, doing very precise work or making important decisions.
Tip: Me-time activities like exercise, yoga or meditation are especially great for de-stressing because they release endorphins!
Working too much isn’t healthy. People that sit at their computers day after day working long stretches are more likely to suffer from a wide variety of medical conditions – everything from back problems to diabetes and heart disease. Getting up and moving around during the day will keep you healthier, which is important because you can’t work if you’re sick. So instead of constantly feeling crummy, take some me-time to go for a walk, run or bike ride.
Tip: Exercise at least 15 minutes every day to stay active, even if it’s just a leisurely walk.
Avoid Burn Out
Efficiency experts will tell you that taking breaks periodically as you work helps your brain to function optimally and not get overwhelmed or fatigued. Taking some me-time keeps you from crossing the burn out threshold whether you’re drawing, reading, sleeping, watching an episode of your favorite TV show, or any number of other me-time activities.
Tip: Even if your me-time is just a short cat nap, breaking up your work will leave you feeling refreshed.
Secret: Continue to Work
Okay, if I didn’t convince you to take some me-time with the whole de-stress/stay healthy/avoid burn out argument, here’s a little secret: your brain is still working when you’re not in the office. So you can take solace in knowing that even when you step away from your work for me-time, at some level it will still always be there.
There are times when I actually do my best work during me-time because I’m brainstorming about work. Sometimes I’ll come back from a bike ride with the week’s blog posts outlined in my head or a really promising content-creation idea for a client.
Tip: Look at your to-do list before taking a break and then let your brain ruminate over it while you’re away from your desk – the ideas and insights you return with may surprise you!
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Web Consulting for small businesses, Copywriting and Local Online Marketing. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and enjoys cooking, watching sports and spending time outdoors. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about marketing theory and SEM trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!