Do you need chill-out time?

My better half enjoys baking bread. He spends ages in the kitchen kneading dough and reading new recipes. His latest potato and rosemary bread was a real treat, but I digress.

The point is, that he says that not only does he enjoy it and takes pride in the finished product, but he finds it relaxing and a great way to switch off from work for a while and it made me think about the constant focus one needs when designing or building a website.

I’m not going to say that I have an answer or draw any conclusions, but it’s an interesting subject. Do we actually need to take a break to keep productivity going.

There’s been quite a bit written on the subject with lists of tips such as taking regular short breaks, going out for walk and so forth. Power naps are apparently common in Japan and I read one report of a businessman in Japan who took a brief nap in a meeting. Interestingly it may work ,as I for sure, find myself nodding off now and again particularly in boring meetings!

Back to the subject at hand though, does a “power nap” or short break help you perform better and focus on the job at hand? I’ve read there are some companies who provide areas for employees to take a nap and I wonder if such provision is increasing or in decline?

Let me give a personal view though. For my part, if I take a nap in the afternoon, (which I hasten to say I could easily and have no problem sleeping) I for one find it difficult to fully up wake up again and frankly I’m not that good for an hour or so afterwards. Thus from a personal point of view if I am focusing on something technical  such as a complex spreadsheet ,or as you may do so for web development, taking a nap is just about the worst thing I could do. I do find that a short break away from my laptop with a cup of coffee and a bar of chocolate and a skim though a gossip mag ( guilty pleasure) does help when I am stuck on something.

For most freelancers and self employed,  work seems to take over and they hardly ever take  time off. Recent research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS)  found that self employed work longer hours and for less pay. Running your own business is stressful and time consuming but  I think taking time out is essential not only for your health but also to keep on top of things and stay more productive. Be disciplined and put some of your hard earned cash away for time off either for a well earned vacation or to just chill and relax in those periods where you are sure it’s a complete drought and work is really hard to come by  but seems to then miraculously appear. My brother in law who contracts always takes a long relaxing vacation in between contracts . He puts the feelers out, goes away and relaxes and by the time he gets back there are always leads waiting.

What do you do that keeps you energised and focused.



avatar Name: Alex Eager
About: Alex has worked as a Financial Controller and Finance Director for many years for a variety of companies across a range of industries but more recently she has moved away from accounting working for an internet marketing agency as Finance and Operations director, primarily overseeing the finance functions and search engine optimisation (SEO) for clients. Follow Alex on G+ and on Twitter @Alex_BusDirUK Alex runs her own company with two fellow owners developing a suite of e-commerce web sites and promoting them directly. “I found that SEO and finance were quite compatible both needing an eye for detail, research and analysis as well keeping up with new developments and changes.” Visit Alex's G+ Profile. and Twitter
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