Make the Most of Your Downtime

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It’s hard to carve out time to relax in a 24/7 world. But just as it’s healthy to focus at work — ignoring Facebook and personal email — you must occasionally leave work behind. Here’s how:

  • Clearly schedule your time. Treat downtime like a work meeting: Schedule it. Book evenings off, one to two days a week free of work, and weeklong chunks of vacation every year on your calendar, and stick to them.
  • Shut off your devices. Leave your laptop at the office when you can. Carry a phone for work and one for personal use — leave the work phone in your bag when you come home or in the safe at your hotel when you’re on vacation.
  • Create routines. Signal to your mind that it’s time to start work, leave work, or engage with family by using rituals to transition from one kind of activity to the next.

Adapted from “The Upside of Downtime” by Jackie Coleman and John Coleman.

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