Sara Maude is the managing director of The Mind Solution, which helps companies to create a high performance work culture, reduce the cost of absence and improve productivity, helping to create a feeling of wellbeing in the work place. Sara has combined her knowledge from the world of positive psychology, neuroscience, solution focused psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and energy psychology to provide people with the most cutting edge employee wellbeing programs.
Sara has written here about the importance of enjoying a day off...
Last week I took what some may consider as a 'day off'. Something I am fond of doing on a regular basis.
On my 'day off' I'll take myself down to the beach, looking out at the ocean and read or journal or simply allow myself to just be. No emails, no action, no follow ups. Simply stillness.
I'm aware that some of you reading this may be thinking, 'it's all right for some, but I have stuff to do!'.
Yet those 'days off' are to me, some of my most productive days of the week.
Why? Because I give my brain and my mind space to breathe.
I'm not sat at a desk staring at my lap top for inspiration, or attached to my smart phone cluttering up my brain with data.
Instead I'm giving my brain the opportunity to reflect. For the gentle current of creative thinking and inspiration to flow into my mind, now that I had given myself head space. Ideas that had been percolating away at the back of my mind, given opportunity to come to fruition and blossom. Blocks and challenges dissolving right in front of my eyes as the time and the space gives way to clarity and solutions.
I'm not sat staring at my business plan thinking 'I should be doing X, Y or Z'. Instead, through the time and space, I'm expanding my connection to my intuition and allowing myself to be drawn towards what feels right. Giving myself permission to consider where I should be placing my focus of attention, and enabling my creative brain to plant seeds of thought as to how to make new ideas come to life.
I return from these 'days off' with a far greater perspective of what action I need to take and with the renewed energy, desire and motivation to move forward.
As humans in the West, we gather up so much information and data from the moment we wake, to the moment we sleep (working on the basis your brain isn't too over stimulated to sleep), yet we don't give ourselves the time to process it all.
A moment sat doing 'nothing' is enough to bring out in a cold sweat in many people. So evident is our obsession with time and getting things done and being productive, that we cram into the day as much as possible. Running from meeting to meeting, downloading Apps that are suppose to make us even more productive, even stopping at red lights to answer emails and messages.
Yet we are the most obese, in-debt, medicated, addicted adult cohort in the whole of history.
Isn't it time we shattered the productivity illusion?