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In this special episode before the Holidays, we look at some ways to make the most of your downtime.  We have focused on how to squeeze more out of every minute.  However, there are also times we need to rest and relax.  When we use our downtime correctly, there will be a benefit in productivity, health, and even drive when our work schedule resumes.

Downtime Rest

Sleep and rest are often at the top of our list during these periods.  We do not tend to sleep very much or often.  Therefore, one of the most significant benefits of some downtime is the ability to recharge physically through proper sleep and rest.  The goal should be to use these vacation periods to sleep when we are tired.  Take a nap, sleep in, do the things related to rest that you usually skip.

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Change Of Focus

Our focus can be all-consuming during our typical work weeks.  This is excellent for our productivity and pursuits.  On the other hand, it can make us a one-trick pony.  We can also end up in a mental rut if we do not occasionally switch gears.  A period of extended downtime (days instead of hours) is a perfect excuse to spend time on something new or at least different.  This may be some time learning to play an instrument, working on a jigsaw puzzle, catching up on recreational reading, or other “fun” things to do.  There are countless examples of stories where someone loses their ability to have fun, and their life takes a downturn.  Utilize your downtime to help yourself by avoiding such a situation.

Change of Scenery

Outside of rest, getting yourself somewhere that is different from your usual grind is the best thing to do during your downtime.  We all know that prison is punishment because someone is forced to live in a confined space day in and day out.  This might be a good time to consider whether you have managed to imprison yourself with your job or work.  Find somewhere else to be during this time off.  It will help you in many ways and may allow you to find that you enjoy being away from your desk.

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Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a longtime student of technology as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is a founder and principle of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences.In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although a few have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax.

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