The importance of taking time off

IT Business, SMB

Take time off in the IT world? Surely this is some sort of an April Fools joke, right? Nope. You see to the right of this text is a picture of my fat ass chilling in a lazy river many, many pounds ago. Before marathons, before a global network nightmare, before the company and all the ITPRO community things there was plenty of time to be spent in the water parks. I blogged earlier today over on my QuickVlad blog about a public comparison between working in IT and working in jail. Perhaps that is why I feel most my readers are prisoners? Either way, it does seem like that every now and then. Your network activity is tracked, your email is being read by half a dozen people, you have 30 RDP and SSH sessions open and OH! someone needs the site turned up right away even though they had a proposal in their hands for three months and just never sent it back. This is every day in Vladville and a reason I write this blog. I also talk to my buddy Rich Walkup (he is still a slave, not quite a masta yet) about how we've never been this successful and how we've never worked quite this hard. So today I'm disonnecting my home WAN and going down by the pool to kick back a little and relax. No books, no whitepapers, no schematics, no reports, no FPGA boards, no specs of any kind. Just me, my mp3 player and a dilbert book. Why? Relaxing helps you remember details It is far too easy to forget and misplace details that go on during the weekday (weeknight). You're not always in a position to take a note, document a conversation, send an email. Kicking back and not trying to hit 100% all the time lets you reflect and remember the little things you meant to do before something bigger fell in your lap. Relaxing allows you to review your process You cannot review your process in a meeting, I'm sorry. You're looking at the clock and thinking about how you're actually going to get things done with the process you currently have without the hour you just blew "talking" about it. Think, really think, about the intricacies of the processes you are currently spending the most time at and find a way to change them for something better. Relaxing opens your mind to new opportunities When you're stuck working on the same old thing your enterprising skill set falls apart. You're more likely to get demotivated than actually inspired to try something new. So take a minute, kick back, and don't think about what you're doing right now but what you could be doing (to make yourself happier, to make more money, to look better in front of your staff/clients/coleagues/peers). If you just stick with the tunnel vision you will not go far. Relaxing helps you get the big picture Same as the above, drop the tunnel vision. We all have a point we're at now and a point we'd like to be at but sometimes it is hard to look at the sky around the two. Further, the longer you work at what you're up to right now you lose perspective or even the reason you desired your end goals. For example, lets say you took on a project that would buy you a new car. Three months later you're 10% on your way to that Lamborghini and you look at the poster every day and say – "my ass is so gonna love those leather bucket seats" – to each his own, right? Well, we lose the big picture sometimes. Our priorities in work and in life tend to change. In the grind its hard to recognize that. So take a day and see if the big picture you used to have grew any or suddenly became a lot clearer. Here's to a start of your beautiful day! See you on Monday.

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