We All Need Some Downtime

Apr 25, 2013

vacationI just love that word “Downtime”.
Recently I was able to take advantage of a few days off and head to Palm Springs with my husband. Unfortunately, he had to work most of the time we were there.
I found myself with a lot of time to myself, literally by myself. My office had me down as taking the days off so I wasn’t getting many calls or emails. I did get on the computer and work on a few projects I was able to finish during the trip, well before their deadlines I might add. I read almost half of this month’s book club selection and listened to podcasts that were piling up on my phone. My favorite part was that I never had a time constraint, regardless of what I was doing. I even spent over an hour every day at the hotel gym. My husband has been speaking at these conferences for most of the 13 years I have known him, this was the first time I was actually able to go and hear him undisturbed for an entire 90 minutes!
Realizing that there are many people who take total downtime, where they completely disconnect from the work world – I sadly know I am far from being one of them. It had been so long since I actively participated in long periods of unscheduled time, working the little bits I did at my own pace still felt like downtime to me.
The focus and energy I had when I got back made me feel like I could accomplish absolutely anything. I have been even more organized and determined to finish everything on my plate as soon as it’s put there. There is an amazing sense of accomplishment when you can answer every call and email the same day you receive it.
The most valuable lesson I learned was re-evaluating how I spend my time and with who. Some of you may not believe this but I do say no to many things that will require time I don’t have, so I’m very comfortable with the time commitments I have made to the organizations I’m involved with. I have also prioritized these so that my customers are always taken care of and that they don’t interfere with my weekends or personal time.
Downtime will be something I participate in often. I will find a way to fit this into my life because I know that I am more efficient, calm and creative. I realize that by giving myself a little bit of downtime every once in a while could put me in a position for a lot more of it later.