Monday, December 1, 2014

Down Time


In recent weeks, I've shared posts on how to deal with distractions and how to increase our productivity. As always, you offered great insight in our discussions. I appreciate your varied perspectives!

In the post on productivity, I mentioned using snippets of time - previously unproductive pockets of time like waiting for a phone call, etc. to chip away at the to-do list. One of you mentioned that you often use that time to chill.

This is an excellent point. 

Having down time is just as important as productive time. If we go 24/7 (or nearly so) we are headed for burnout. And burnout is no fun. At all.

How do you spend your down time? For me, it can include a few quiet moments, vacation or day trip, exercise, time with family and friends, a good book or movie, shopping, and a restful night's sleep. Good old fashioned fresh air and sunshine works wonders, too.

I'm sure you'll agree, the benefits are priceless, reaping better relationships and quality of life. A rested, non stressed writer is more likely to see creativity and words flow, enjoying the process from start to finish.

A Giveaway

Helping Hands Press is giving away a Kindle Fire and an assortment of paperbacks, including a copy of my first book Homeschool Co-ops 101. To enter, use the Rafflecopter box in the sidebar on the HHP blog.

A Humorous Visitor

Please join me next Monday when I feature Jeanette Levellie's latest book, The Heart of Humor. Jeanette's first book, Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top is a winner, and I expect this one will be too!


Do you think down time is important? How do you rest and recharge? 

Happy writing,

Karen



Photo credit: Stock Exchange

29 comments :

  1. Definitely need some down time. Especially during hard times. Getting outside and walking really helps me feel good.

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  2. Need down time to refill our tanks. Movies or music do it for me.

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  3. Amigo, down time is vital. I guess you know what my downtime consists of. I grab my boots and holler, "YEEHAW!" :-) I love the word chill. It is that. xoxoxo

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  4. I meant to say that I look forward to Jeanette's visit. Squeezes, amigo.

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  5. I had some down time this weekend and found that I could figure out the ending to my book! My brain just needed a rest. So excited for Jeanette!

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  6. I particularly had the whole month of November, but didn't know that in advance or I would have taken advantage of it. They finally fixed my internet on Friday. Or was it Saturday. Doesn't matter. Now the work begins. Down time is important, but it should be planned. Otherwise you'll find yourself frustrated, and that's counter-productive any way you look at it.

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  7. I tend to just go and go and go, so some down time on Thanksgiving was unusual and very much needed.

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  8. I finally took some down time after a long non-stop period. I'm just back and figuring out that even a month away seemed like a few days. When I can't take off and travel, I like to hike. That is usually what perks me up and allows me to return to a writing project.

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  9. Your reminder hit home for sure. I've been going 100 mph, working to finish the third book I owe to my publisher, as well as working on the first round of edits for the first book they picked up. And doing other writing I've committed to. And holidays. And family. And, and, and!! I do tend to put my nose to the grindstone and forget to come up for air. But resting is important, too, and if we don't take care of ourselves physically and emotionally, we won't get anything accomplished at all.

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  10. Thanks for the thoughtful reminder, Karen. My fix? A good love movie, or herbal tea and a bubble bath! :-)

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  11. Hi Karen...Oh yes, down time is very important. Usually I just like to enjoy it by being home. Then, a good night's sleep is always renewing. Hope your Thanksgiving was beautiful.

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  12. It is extremely important so we don't end up like stressed-out crazy people!

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  13. I do think down time is very important. I try to relax and enjoy the nature I see outside my window as often as I can. I also love to take walks in the woods to enjoy some quiet time. :)

    ~Jess

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  14. Thanksgiving Weekend, I had some much-needed downtime. I slept late, spent time with family and friends, and feel so much better. Of course, chunks of time cleaning off my desk doesn't qualify as downtime, but eventually will mean less stress. :)

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  15. Natalie,
    I agree, sometimes during the challenging stretches they are most needed. Hoping you can rest and recharge in the coming weeks. :) Take care.

    Alex,
    We are no good for anything when burned out, are we? Somehow I knew movies were part of your down time plan! :)

    Robyn,
    I can just picture you off on a trail ride, getting some much needed down time! :) Can't wait for Jen's visit. She's a treasure, just like you! :)

    Terri,
    You would think we'd learn, right? We can think better when we take time to clear our heads. Glad you figured out the ending! :)

    Joylene,
    You were away too, weren't you? Hope you got to rest a bit. Things can get crazy, right? Looking forward to visiting with you again! :)

    Diane,
    I'll do that sometimes too. So glad you got a break and got to recharge a little! :)

    Lee,
    Missed seeing you, but I sure do understand! :) Walking helps me clear my head and get things in perspective again.

    Lisa,
    It just gets crazy sometimes, doesn't it? While we have to at times to get things done, we do need that time to chill. Hope you can squeeze some of that in soon! :)

    Jen,
    You are so welcome! I too, enjoy a good romance or even a comedy. Chocolate is quite nice too! :)

    Susan,
    It really is therapeutic, isn't it? I bet seeing your granddaughter makes you smile and relax too. :)

    Holly,
    Yes, because stressed crazy people - just not a good thing! Although at least us writers understand each other when we get crazy. lol :)

    Jess,
    It just helps to take a deep breath and enjoy the scenery doesn't it? I agree, getting outside is another good way to de-stress a little. :)

    Susan R.,
    I am glad you got some time off this weekend. And sometimes cleaning your desk off helps ease stress, doesn't it? I need to do that here soon...:)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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    1. And today was a perfect day for one of those walks. Rainy, yes. But exhilarating. Here's to those walks.

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  16. My downtime in the evening is sometimes spent doing a sudoku puzzle. Not that I recommend it--it has become rather addictive. In fact, when a friend introduced it, I said this is too hard and it's not for me. But then I found I could do the easy ones and that the mindlessness of it relaxed me. Someone else said it's good for our brains. So I use that for my excuse to kick back with it!

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  17. My downtime can be a one or two hour walk or several days off relaxing at home or vacationing. It is definitely needed to recharge.

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  18. Hi Karen - I seem to have got involved with lots of interesting courses etc and I enjoy doing some research for some talks I give, I've been to various museums, exhibitions etc .. and socialising with family and friends - but I need my own brain space ... it's good to get out and about too ... I need to add in a little more outside time .. cheers Hilary

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  19. I agree that downtime is VERY important! I think of it as a precious commodity :)

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  20. I like to call downtime, up-time. Time to develop and grow just by being, instead of doing. That for me is usually a walk with my camera as it gets me focused on the moment too.

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  21. I'm a voracious reader. My favorite way to unplug! Then there's a cup of coffee, with or without the book; always a winner. On top of that, I love getting out on the road and running or walking.

    God talks to me there. No one else is talking out there, see, so I can hear Him. :)

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  22. Hi Karen! Real, honest to goodness downtime? I grab a book and collapse in a chair. Right after I wonder what I'm forgetting, because unscripted time is not something I have a lot of. I really should change that...
    I also like a good hot cup of tea on a cold day. Now that's relaxing!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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  23. Kenda,
    I haven't tried that yet, but my husband has. Since you recommend it, I may just have to! Once in a while I will get my son's old Gameboy out and play Tetris. It's the only game like that I play once in a while, and I really enjoy it!:)

    Medeia,
    I guess the amount of down time we need depends on the stress level too, right? Hope you find some this month when school is off! :)

    Hilary,
    You are one busy chick! :) I like that term "brain space". That sums it up nicely. I am going to have to borrow that term if you don't mind!

    Keith,
    It really is, isn't it? Makes such a difference between a happy and productive life and the opposite. :)

    Lynn,
    Somehow I thought maybe your down time might include your camera! :) Hoping you find some time to get out and use it soon.

    Rhonda,
    I am with you, minus the coffee. Tea, hot or cold, for me please. Getting out like that really helps set things where they need to be, doesn't it? :)

    Ceil,
    Sometimes I go like that too, and often end up kind of grouchy (at least on the inside). I know quiet time with the Lord helps me with that too. Hope you are getting some rest and refreshment this week! :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  24. I like the chill-lax idea a lot. With coffee in hand and - surprise! - a good book.

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  25. Not sure my comment went through, but I can't write all that again! I'll just say, Thanks for the reminder to take some down time!

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  26. Susan,
    Yes, a good book is a must! :) I think we probably need some more down time these days.

    Jean,
    Here it is! Glad you stopped by. :) Hope you get some quality down time soon!

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  27. Karen: Downtime is a good concept. Jesus went away by himself to pray. We have occasion to get away as well. With our son making plans to move closer, I imagine I will have more down times than I have had in the past. About a year ago,the people of our church insisted our pastor begin to take one day a week as his day off, He hadn't done that but he spent January and part of February getting over being ill. He also turned 60 during this time and he realized he needed to take better care of himself.

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    1. Cecelia,
      We all need it, I think, to function better. Hope your pastor is doing better now!
      Blessings,
      Karen

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!