Stop and smell the roses 2012

This is the first in a new series of Smarter Working Tips 2.0 here on Social Buzz Club.

This inaugural”episode” is directed to the self-employed workaholic…

Stop and smell the roses. Repeat as necessary.

No roses? No worries! Watch the birds, play on the swings, listen to children laughing, smell the rain on the concrete… whatever. Get past the semantics and get to the point!

And the point here is… it’s way too easy to “just keep working” when you would actually  improve your productivity by taking a darn break!Is your office in your basement? Or shoved in a corner of the living room? Can you look out the window and see the sun blazing while you’re working? OR worse… is your office in your bedroom, facing a wall?

This is a common plight of the newly self-employed, and not that uncommon among the long self-employed.

Do you stop, sometimes, to contemplate your lack of inspiration, or how your thoughts get dark and small faster than they used to? Your workspace might have something to do with that.

Six months ago I had the fortune to move into a fantastic apartment with a loft. After a couple months of living here with our bedroom in the loft and my office shoved in a corner, I had a feng shui consultation that changed everything.

Natural light and fresh air can make all the difference to how effective you are.

This as your official permission slip to skip afternoon projects and make them up later – after the sun goes down.

And this isn’t about getting out and being a “tree hugger” or “getting in tune with nature” (tho neither of those are a bad thing, if they’re you’re thing).

Sometimes, you just gotta go outside…

If you want to be more productive, increase your intake of sun, fresh air and fun! (that means, work less!)

Get away from your computer, or your pile of envelopes, your stack of receipts, your drill press – whatever:

  • stick your hands in the dirt – pull up 4 square feet of weeds and play with some worms;
  • snap on your rollerblades and go around the block;
  • blow the dust off your helmet and ride your bike to the flowershop and back; 
  • walk. anywhere.
  • even just pull up a rock and bask in the sun, don’t move a muscle, just suck it in!

Ok, so there’s no blazing sun but you’ve been working like a maniac – you’re on 36 hours and it’s only wednesday morning… even if it’s raining, snowing, sleeting or dark out, there are plenty of other ways you CAN take a break.

  • invite your neighbours over for tea
  • watch “Whitney” on Thursday night (CTV)
  • play a game of crib with your spouse or child
  • make bread
  • do a jigsaw puzzle
  • read a book 
  • try standing on your head (use the wall, please)
  • crank up your favourite song and dance your ass off
  • cook a gourmet meal with your spouse
  • lie on the floor and just melt into it
  • write a poem
  • stare out the window and watch the raindrops
  • analyze all the ads in your local paper
  • reorganize your fridge
  • feng shui your bedroom
  • watch one of those documentaries that’s on your list
  • catalogue your bookshelf or CD rack
  • go visit a neighbour for tea
  • have an impromptu party, tonight!
  • take a nap

The important thing is this – there’s nothing more important than your health (physical and mental) and there is no proof that working too hard will NOT put you over the edge.

Take time out and time OFF! You deserve it, your friends and family will relish the opportunity to refresh their memories on what you look like, and you might even enjoy yourself!

Don’t get me wrong – working hard is admirable, and when you love what you do it doesn’t always feel like work – but you have to have balance.

The world will not collapse if you take 2 hours off. Your clients will have more respect for you if you set boundaries on WHEN you’ll work. The people around you will clue you in to the important stuff you’ve missed AND you’ll get revitalized to work more later! It’s a win/win proposition.

Go ahead… Do IT!

 

Although both the originals & the 2.0 series are written by Kera McHugh, some of this series was originally published at www.Time4Somethingelse.com

kera is the owner and propagator of somethingelse support studio – offering web/wordpress, marketing & admin support for people doing it virtually alone.