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Is It Time for a Break From Your Project?

Palm treesThere are a few fairly simple ways of telling whether you are in need of a break from your project. For example, if you are feeling burned out or you are getting more irritable than normal you could probably do with some time off.

My favorite way of doing this is by taking a long weekend. This means that I leave work around lunchtime on Friday afternoon and head straight off somewhere. If I come back on Sunday night then I am ready for work on the Monday morning and have enjoyed a refreshing break without missing any more than a few hours of work. So how else can you make the most of this break?

Leave the Phone at Home (Along with the Laptop, the Tablet and Any Other Mobile Device)

Do you feel a pang of regret as you pack your bag and leave your phone on the bedside table? I don’t. We all need a complete break from the project at some time and it is highly unlikely that anything happens during those few hours which needs your immediate attention anyway. Of course, if there is something going on at the weekend which you know could have a crucial effect on the project then you might have no option but to take the phone with you. However, this should definitely be the exception to the rule and in most cases you should be happy to leave your mobile devices at home and forget about the work for a while.

Arrange To Do Something Different

If you think that a quiet weekend doing nothing is a great way to recharge your batteries then you are probably right. Having said that, you won’t want to just recharge your batteries and catch up on your sleep. This break should also be about forgetting about the project altogether. I once went on a break to a beautiful cottage in the countryside. It had a lovely lake beside it and would have been a terrific spot for sitting and contemplating the world most of the time. The problem was that I was trying to get away from a hectic project which had got me into a rather nervous frame of mind. In situations like this your mind can easily wander back to that piece of work when you are meant to be relaxing far away from it. I learned from that experience and now try to cram as much as possible into my trips away. It is amazing how quickly you can forget about big problems when you have a day full of new and exciting activities. The problems will still be there when you get back so there is no point spending every waking minute going over them.

Do It Often

I have found that the more often I do this kind of thing the more I enjoy it. If I only do it once a year, for example, then it takes me most of the time away to relax and start to make the most of my time. However, when I do it more often I can slip into the travel routine more easily. In fact, when it is a regular occurrence in my life then I start thinking about the holiday rather than work even before I turn the key in the ignition of my car. If you get into the habit of getting away for a few days then you should find that it becomes something really important in your life and you might wonder how you managed without it before now.

Return Full of Energy

For this project break to really work you need to return to work after it full of energy and raring to go. There are a few factors to bear in mind here. For a start, I don’t recommend going on a wild party trip to somewhere with all night discos and other nocturnal attractions. This isn’t being a party pooper, it is simply good common sense. One of the project managers I worked with took a break in Amsterdam once and missed his ferry back for some reason which he never got round to telling us-.This wouldn’t have been so bad if he hadn’t then missed the ferry on the next day as well. By going somewhere which is interesting during the day you can get your fill of tourist activities and still recharge your batteries by getting a good night’s sleep later on.

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