The connected nature of the business world has given new meaning to the word self – discipline. The professional world traditionally celebrates hard work and has thus created a culture that neglects the importance of downtime.
Where previously one was encouraged to possess a form of self-discipline that promoted hard – work, modern society has begun to consider the other side of this coin: having enough self-discipline to do absolutely nothing.
Whether you are the owner of a major corporation or a hard-working entrepreneur starting your own business, acknowledging the importance of downtime will positively affect your creativity, productivity, and mental well-being.
The mind, the brain, and the authentic self
The importance of downtime is evident in how a lack of downtime affects the brain:
- Our brains have adapted to accommodate societies norm that keeping busy should be prioritised. Busyness has thus become addictive, whereby keeping busy induces a dopamine rush for a limited time.
- Having moments to reflect on what you’ve learned in your day gives your brain an opportunity to better process information absorbed at first glance.
- Furthermore, without regulating the balance between action and reflection we increase the likelihood of burning out mentally and physically.
- An unregulated balance is primarily due to a busy environment that produces the notion that we need to complete one more task to relax. This notion is delusional because the outcome is that our to-do list grows larger or we feel like we can improve on what we have done.
- Disconnecting yourself from a busy environment allows you to generate a different perspective about what needs to be done which subsequently allows for better problem-solving.
- Many individuals addicted to hard-work lack the required 8 hours of sleep – Yes required! Your brain and body cannot be successfully revived without 8 hours of restful sleep.
- Sleep is one of the key factors that distinguish working hard between working hard.
When an adequate amount of downtime is neglected, the mind and authentic self cannot effectively develop. Efficient amounts of downtime or lack thereof affect the development of the mind and self in the following ways:
- It gives us a clear space to affirm our own identity and understand our various behavioural patterns.
- Introspecting and reflecting on our identity as well as our behaviour allows us to effectively evaluate our internal code of ethics.
- Without conscious downtime, we inhibit personal growth, insight, and creativity.
- Without allowing the subconscious and unconscious mind to evaluate ideas or problems independent of our conscious intervention, we aren’t allowing ourselves a fresh perspective on productivity nor creativity.
- The absence of conscious thought allows the unconscious mind to integrate and associate all the information you have consciously digested. Furthermore, these parts of our mind are better equipped to investigate unresolved tensions within the self. This is key to the development of the authentic self, allowing us to reflect away from the external world.
- Quite simply put, boredom allows the imagination and the creative mind to explore the unfamiliar confidently.
- Without allowing ourselves to do nothing or be ‘bored’, we increase our predisposition to develop mental health problems.
AVirtual and the importance of downtime
It’s clear that neglecting the importance of downtime can have adverse effects on the development of the mind, the brain, and the self. AVirtual’s ethos is built upon assisting entrepreneurs big and small with finding their optimal work – life balance.
Allocating time for personal or family holidays produce positive effects on the mind, body, and self. Taking 3 to 5 days away from your busy routine will allow for an efficient revitalisation and perspective shift.
Providing yourself with regular breaks to meditate, exercise or just have a moment to yourself positively affects productivity and should thus be scheduled consciously. Furthermore, creating rules for successful downtime will make sure that you are providing yourself with a space to relax and recover from work.
At AVirtual we will provide you with a dedicated PA to help you consciously plan your downtime, what it comprises of, and whether you are achieving it successfully.
Whether you need help booking a family vacation, consciously scheduling down time, or delegating tasks so that you can have a moment to reflect inward, AVirtual provides a variety of services that can be tailored towards your personal needs.
Helping our clients achieve a realistic work-life balance to liberate themselves is what we do best. We will help you develop a new breed of self-discipline that enforces the notion and importance of downtime. Contact us today or try our services for 5 hours free of charge.
Visit our website for more information on how we can help you https://avirtual.ie/