If you work for someone else, when was the last time your boss said to you, "I think you're working too hard. I want you to take some time off a just loaf around. In fact, I insist. We'll even pay you
If you work for someone else, when was the last time your boss said to you, "I think you're working too hard. I want you to take some time off a just loaf around. In fact, I insist. We'll even pay you for it."
Even less likely, if you're self-employed, when was the last time you said to yourself, "I need to kick back a bit here. I'm pushing way too hard. This 'free agent nation' gig is killing me. I think I'll take the day off tomorrow and do nothing."
HA! Not very likely, right? Almost all of us have this built-in mental driver that says something like, "Sloth is a sin. Laziness is the easy, downward path that leads away from growth, progress, and prosperity."
Properly applied, laziness does not have to be the opposite of that constant, frenzied rushing around trying to get everything done now Now NOW! Keeping your nose to the grindstone is the surest way to prevent your creative imagination from producing great new ideas.
You don't have to be rich (however you define that) to take a day off and creatively loaf. Read this out loud: "If I slow down for an instant, it will all go down the drain." Doesn't that sound ridiculous? You know in your gut that's just not true.
BACK OFF, VARMINT!
I started applying this concept when I was 'working' as an Intranet project manager for a major university. When 10-hour days weren't long enough to solve all the problems and deal with all the crises, I started working 12-hour days. When THAT wasn't enough, I started working weekends. When my wife told me she was thinking about leaving me because I was never home, I stopped working weekends. The crises didn't get solved, but they didn't get any worse either!
Then I started working at home on Wednesdays. I answered the phone and sent emails, but I told people I wouldn't come in. Startlingly, the crises in the office conveniently waited for my return the next day, or else people on my staff started solving some of them.
Then I really got bold. I started relaxing on my day off. I was still "working", but on solutions, not fire-fighting. Astoundingly, I got much more "work" done in the remaining four (10-hour) days than I had ever gotten done in five - or six or seven!
GETTING INTO THE FLOW IS OK, JUST DON'T LET IT KILL YOU
Sometimes I do get caught up in work, plunging ahead at a feverish pace. At times like these, I do the hardest thing in the world for me - I force myself to take a day off and do absolutely nothing. Surprisingly, the work still gets done somehow, often ahead of schedule.
By taking time out to recharge your mental, emotional and creative batteries, you can produce even more of value and worth. Even if the results aren't apparent immediately, you're not idle. Your brain is working in the background and your creative imagination is actually more stimulated by not being distracted by "busyness" -- part of the negative legacy of the Puritan work ethic. And have you ever noticed how similar the words "business" and "busyness" are?
LAZINESS IS TRULY THE FOUNTAINHEAD OF CREATIVITY
If you take some time to deliberately distance yourself from the busyness of the typical day, your subconscious creative mind can forge ahead unfettered. One of the expressions I hate most from the business world is, "Keep your head down and your tail up." What crap! Busyness will keep you from tapping into your creative potential. Don't feel you have to prove something by always appearing busy.
Remember Parkinson's Law? "A task will always expand to fill the amount of time available for its completion." The contrapositive of that might go like this: "A task will take only as long as the amount of time allowed for it."
So go ahead, give yourself a well-earned day off. What did your mother always say to you when you got so busy in the house you were driving her crazy? "Go out and play." Have fun. You'll be more creative, more successful, more prosperous.
Best Regards, Robert Brents, "The 80/20 Guy" http://www.RobertBrents.com For your free four-lesson e-seminar, How To Write, Publish, Market & Promote Profitable How-To Manuals, email mailto:email@example.com Copyright 2001 Robert Brents and Blue Gecko Press.