Whether you want to get more done each day because you want to create a better work-life balance, or you want to free up more time so you can do more work, it is important to consider downtime as part of your routine. All too often, the idea of downtime gets swept to one side with people forgetting that in order to achieve optimal productivity a little downtime on a regular basis is necessary. If you want your mind to work well in the longer time, then you need to give it a rest.
If you are not the type of person who regularly takes breaks then it can be a good idea to write them into your daily schedule; put those project management skills to good use and create time in your calendar no matter how busy you are. It might sound counterproductive to have to schedule these breaks but if you are the type of person who would just keep working then this will help.
The amount of downtime that is required will vary from one person to another, think about the amount of time you need rather than how little time you can get away with being away from your work for. Spending the right amount of downtime will make you more productive in the long run.
You could set a reminder or an alarm to help you remember to take the time, this is particularly important if you are likely to lose track of time.
Downtime Means Downtime
You should set yourself some rules for your downtime. You need time to recover from the day’s work and relax. If you want to use a computer during your downtime, perhaps you like gaming or simply want to do some surfing? That’s fine, but restrict what you can use the computer for otherwise you will find yourself drifting back towards work.
Perhaps use the time to get some fresh air, get outside and take a walk, do some work in your garden. Perhaps spend some time with your friends, children or other family. Being outside is a great way to relax and unwind. If you are guilty of spending too much time working and not enough with those you love, then this really is a good way to spend your downtime.
It can take time to settle into a routine, and self-discipline plays a huge part in how you deal with this. Downtime is not a waste of time but something that is incredibly important to your work productivity if you do not want to burn out.
One thing that you will learn when you attend training for project managers is that it is important to optimise your time in order to be the most productive. This is just as important with your downtime as it is with your work time.
Why not add a new element to your weekly review, one where you look at your downtime? Consider how you spent it last week and don’t forget to schedule time for further downtime.