As I sit here about the embark on a four day weekend, staying out in the English countryside with my wife and kids, it makes me think about the impact to my work of taking time off.
Over the years I’ve come to think that there is too much of a blind belief in the direct relationship between time working and productivity. I’ve tried various different levels of time commitment and don’t believe that more time necessarily makes us more productive. Of course there are times when really important things are happening that we just have to get done. But I think there are other times where we just work and work in the belief that this means we will be doing our jobs better, rather than really thinking about what our priorities are and that there might be better ways of measuring ourselves.
You can break down most jobs into a very few number of key priorities. All too often we can lose sight of these priorities and end up just grinding away in some kind of superficial comfort zone. This is especially true in the always-on world we now live in surrounded by so many mobile devices.
Maybe it’s just me getting older but I really think it’s important to have some balance in your life and have things outside of work that we feel really passionate about and love to do. Spending time in this way makes us happier, more relaxed and generally more interesting people! You can then return to your work feeling fresh and with new ideas about how to do things better.
So in conclusion I think focused, high quality work is the most productive kind and that this often comes after a break where you’ve had the chance to put some distance between yourself and your job.
So enjoy your long weekend and Happy Easter.