Skip to site content

Strategic Time Off Can Boost Your Productivity

image_pdfimage_print

I didn’t blog for a week. This isn’t something new. Usually when it happens, it’s because I’m lazy. This time, it was strategic.

Of course, I didn’t know Matt Chevy was going to call me a Gen Y Rock Star. That meant a lot of people came to my Web site looking for good ideas – the kind that rock stars would come up with. Instead, they got a week-old post about community.

My self-imposed blogging dry spell also coincided with two weeks without running. That’s right: the guy who’s supposed to be running 12 half-marathons in 12 months decided to spend two weeks off of his feet.

Each rest was self-imposed and well worth it. During my most recent half-marathon, my legs wanted to quit at mile five. They were drained. Running three half-marathons in six weeks will do that to your legs.

And not blogging for a week allowed me to get a lot of work done in view of a busy October. I’ll make more money from speaking and presenting in a single month than I ever have. But it means I’ll be slammed. Working ahead in other areas, however, meant this blog fell silent. That’s a trade-off I’ll always make. (I don’t get paid to blog, but I do get paid to speak.)

What I’ve learned during each respite (blogging and running) is that productivity never equals activity. Many people spin wheels only to feel drained while actually accomplishing less. The most productive people I know use time wisely, focusing on the most important tasks in order to not just do more things, but do more of the right things.

Time off is good. Knowing why you’re taking time off is better. What would you be better at if you abstained from it for a week?

Sam Davidson is executive director of CoolPeopleCare, Inc. He blogs at Sam Davidson.