All things ebb and flow, and that includes our work life. We’ve talked before about the importance of taking time off, and of being intentional with your re-entry back to work. But what about taking a break when you’re right in the middle of a project?
I found myself doing just that recently, and as I paused I gathered some reflections to share with you.
Some of my work had slowed or stopped, but at first, I struggled to let go and rest. I was tempted to fill in the space with one particular project that was unresolved. I wondered if I just tried harder, if I re-did it this way or that way, it would all come together.
As a business owner or anyone in leadership, there are always projects and proposals in play. There is always more work to be done. Sometimes it’s time to put it on someone else’s desk, especially if you feel like you’re spinning your wheels – spending time and energy but not really getting anywhere.
I understand because that’s exactly how I’d been feeling about this project. We want to push through and get it done, but sometimes it’s best to step back and see what the other party can come up with.
It was hard to do, but I did it. Just a few hours before I sat down to write this article for you. And it feels wonderful like I put my brain into neutral. I just came back from spending an hour outside with my dog.
Best of all, I know that in a couple of days when I come back to the project and my other work, I’ll be energized, refreshed, and clear-headed. Walking away from something and clearing your head can be just what’s needed to spark innovative ideas and find a new perspective.
Are you feeling stuck on any of your projects right now? Try stepping away for your own mini-break. Aim for a balance between rest – things that bring your mind and body to a state of neutrality – and activity – things that stimulate creativity and problem-solving.
For example, watching TV isn’t always enough of a distraction for me, but I can easily lose myself by listening to an audiobook. And it must be fiction, nothing related to what I do for work.
Biking is another wonderful activity that works both my body and my mind, especially if I challenge myself to navigate an unfamiliar area or even just a new route. I get to exercise other parts of my brain and experience true leisure.
Speaking of my brain, I think I’ll disengage again and get on with my break….