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Why Taking Time Off From Work Is Good for Your Productivity

All work and no play makes you a very unimaginative problem solver
By Timothy Sykes |

Why Taking Time Off From Work Is Good for Your Productivity

Klaus Vedfelt | Getty Images
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Great news: taking time off is good for your career.

 

Usually, taking time off is considered the antithesis of a good work ethic. You’re supposed to be productive, and that means busy at all times, right? But as it turns out, busy isn't always better. As author Alan Cohen wrote, “There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.”

 

Here are five reasons why taking time off is a good thing:

 

 

1. You’ll learn the difference between being busy and being productive

Have you noticed that when you ask some people how they are, their first answer is “busy”? Our society places a lot of importance on being busy. It’s almost as if not being busy deems you as unimportant. However, productivity isn’t just about being busy, it’s about what you’re busy doing. If you’re unable to identify the tasks that actually matter, then you’re probably just spinning your wheels.

 

When you take time off, you stop setting yourself with meaningless tasks just to come off as busy. In fact, you’d probably rather “waste time” on your interests, which might actually make you a smarter and more business savvy individual. By not engaging in busy work constantly, you may be better able to focus on what really matters.

 

 

2. You find clever solutions

Why work harder than you have to? You’ll be much better off if you come up with a clever solution that allows you to maximize more time off.

 

For example, consider the sandwich. What has become a staple food in society is actually the result of a man who wanted to minimize work and maximize pleasure. The Earl of Sandwich wasn’t inclined to eat with a knife and fork because it took him away from his real passion, which was gambling. So he put his meal between slices of bread so that he could keep gambling while eating, and the sandwich was born. As you can see, streamlining work can actually breed ingenuity. What could happen if you chose to work smarter instead of harder?

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3. You know how to delegate

All too often, it’s perceived as weak or lazy to have others do work for you. But if you learn how to delegate, you can take more time off and get more done. In this way, delegation can be a powerful way of achieving even more.

 

You’re not going to benefit by trying to do everything yourself. You’ll burn yourself out and you won’t perform tasks to the best of your ability. However, if you are able to identify strengths in others and delegate accordingly, you can free up your time while maintaining a high level of quality in a project or task. Sometimes, by allowing others to shoulder some of the work, you’ll actually end up getting better and more effective work done without spreading yourself too thin.


4. You can make money while you’re sleeping

Putting in long hours is respectable, but not always necessary. If you want to minimize work and maximize income, you need to diversify with passive incomestreams. Passive income streams can come from a variety of places, including owning a rental property, writing a book and receiving royalties, or becoming a silent investor.

 

Passive income streams allow you to make money without actively working. They can help you build a nest egg of savings, and make a difference in your overall lifestyle. Not every income stream needs to require slaving away for hours on end!


5. You have a life

You know what they say about all work and no play. It may be a badge of pride to be a workaholic, but it’s not much fun. Make it a priority to take time off and chances are you’ll be a whole lot more enjoyable to spend time with.

 

Embrace the parts of life that are easy and enjoyable -- you’ll be happier and more lighthearted. Being likeable is a real asset in business. If people like you, they’re more willing to work with you and more open to being delegated tasks. More will get done! These are just a few of the many reasons why it’s good to take time off. Instead of trying to avoid time off or considering it a sign of a poor work ethic, embrace it for what it is: a potential asset to your life and career.

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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors

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