Study: Don’t Feel Bad About Taking Time Off

August 15, 2017

10:50 am

Entrepreneurs are more than happy to go the extra mile for their company. Their drive, ambition, and disregard for their own personal well-being is what made them startup founders in the first place. However, research has shown on more than one occasion that taking a little time off can do wonders for your productivity, your mental health, and even your bottom line. So stop feeling guilty and start relaxing!

You might be asking yourself, “how could working less lead to more productivity?” Well, obviously I’m going to get to that. There are a number of meaningful benefits that make taking time off a no-brainer when it comes to refreshing the ol’ batteries. Take a look at a few of them below:

Chairman of the Bored

Simply put, the brain was not built to focus for long periods of time. And while you might feel like you’re getting a lot of work done in that 15 hour work session, the reality is that you’re probably only getting a few good hours of work out of it.

“Deactivating and reactivating your goals allows you to stay focused,” said Alejandro Lleras, a University of Illinois psychology professor to Buffer Open. “From a practical standpoint, our research suggests that, when faced with long tasks (such as studying before a final exam or doing your taxes), it is best to impose brief breaks on yourself. Brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task!”

In so many words, this kind of work practice is pretty boring. You can’t be expected to solve innovative problems in a creative way if your mind is stuck on a single task. Taking time off allows your brain to refocus its energy and tackle the complex problems that come with running a business or being an entrepreneur.

Where’s the Off Switch?

Always being on is a trait found in comedians and entrepreneurs alike. And while it can lead to a number of impressive feats of hard work, this practice doesn’t always progress the creative process. Taking time off allows the brain to make connections that otherwise would go unrevealed in a constant state of hard work.

Much like the the Shower Principle in 30 Rock, having something to take your mind off the project at hand lets you actually figure stuff out more efficiently. Studies have shown that letting your mind wander actually increased brain activity, giving your brain the nourishment it really needs: rest.

Reevaluation Time

It’s safe to say that you’ve made a mistake or two in your entrepreneurial journey. Hopefully, you aren’t still making that mistake, because fortunately, you had the time off to reconsider the consequences and find a more reasonable approach.

If you don’t take time to pick your head up and breathe for once, you could get stuck in a bad situation without any means of pivoting out of it. Take time off so that you can make sure you’re on the right path.

Read more about productivity on TechCo

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Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. As the Senior Writer at Tech.Co, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host Startup Night at SXSW and the Funding Q&A at Innovate! and Celebrate, posing questions to notable tech minds from around the world. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word "colloquially." Conor is the Senior Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at conor@tech.co.

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