Downtime R1

The smartest thing you’ll do all week… downtime

We’re on a mission here at WREN to give our community the connections and tools they need to be successful. Being successful isn’t all about money, sometimes it’s about taking a time-out and getting your mojo going.

What am I talking about?  Stop “doing”?  Start “being”?  My little self just screamed… “I don’t have time for that!”

Being a passionate professional, a business owner or an inspired leader (or all of the above), I’m guessing you probably struggle with this as much as I do: getting enough rest, being away from your devices and generally enjoying some peace and quiet on a regular basis.

Recent studies have linked the importance of downtime to being your best self. It’s getting clear how important ‘downtime’ really is for our brain. The evidence that clearing your head is a vital element to being creative and successful is growing fast. And for women who are juggling a lot (that’s you) it’s even more important.

Here are three practical (and smart) ways to get the downtime you need:

1. Regular breaks

It’s those little nuggets of emptiness in your head that come from meditation, a walk in nature, doing some sports or just having a cappuccino on a terrace in the middle of your working day.  Here is permission… take a little time out for yourself.

2. Going on vacation

The second sort of downtime is vacation. A longer period (at least three to five days) of being away from work is a great way to revitalize. By being away from your normal routine, you get the chance to look at your life from a different perspective. It’s so much easier to see what you would like to improve from an outsider’s perspective! For me, the time right after summer holidays (September) is usually the best moment to make changes in my routines. I always set some new ambitions right after summer too.

3. Getting enough sleep

Solid, good quality sleep gives your brain the possibility to revive itself and the body. It’s an opportunity to incorporate everything you’ve experienced during the day. I loved Arianna Huffington’s TED talk on how to sleep you’re way to the top. Literally. She focuses on women take a look (link https://www.ted.com/talks/arianna_huffington_how_to_succeed_get_more_sleep?language=en)

I know some people say they can do with only a couple of hours of sleep per night, but that’s absolutely not me. I’m most productive, creative and happy when I sleep a solid seven to eight hours. That means I need to be asleep by 10:30p.m. Simple as that.

They sound easy enough, as they are relatively short, but the challenge is in the continuity. Our brain needs this type of downtime several times during the day. Tony Schwartz of The Energy Project proposes to have a break after every 90 minutes of work to be optimally productive.

I’m definitely giving that a try, join me!

Deborah Razo

Founder, Women’s Real Estate Network