You are kicking butt and taking names right now. You have a todo list that is getting chipped away little by little with each passing day. Progress is the key. You are taking all the extra time after your day job, and family to accomplishing your dream. Yet you seem to be slowing down you are seeing that you are starting to get a case of burn out. Yet you see that you are so close!
You don’t want to lose the momentum you have so you keep pressing on. Sadly you still are losing ground. What are you going to do? The best thing, in this case, is stop and go goof off.
Yeah put everything away and don’t worry about it. You have people like Gary Vaynerchuk who are just go go go go go! Yeah, they are working hard everyday day in and day out. Yet, what you don’t see is they do take breaks. You may see them go and play a round of basketball, or watch an episode of a television show. There are people who are all about work, and yes working towards your goal is the primary objective of all this hard work. You have to get it done. I would ask, at what cost?
What do you mean by goofing off?
When I say goof off, I mean do something fun. Change the pace of your activity and go in a 180 degrees switch. Mix things up, instead of doing something because you have to do something because it will bring joy. Play a video game or go hiking.
Goofing off isn’t loafing, not getting things done. Many people talk about not getting things done because they think they need a break and they overdo the break there is a case of goofing off to the detriment of your dreams. The people who fail often fail because they do too much goofing off. Yet ther are people who fail also because they refuse to take a break and refresh their creative reservoirs.
Why Goofing Off is Good
There are benefits to taking the time and just goofing off. Besides mental health, there are other benefits that help you to actually get more done on your project.
Change of Pace
If you are running full out day in and day out it is a lot like a motor. Eventually, something is going to break. It may be a small easy to change part like a tensioner bearing or it could be catastrophic similar to a car throwing a rod. So it is good to slow down from time to time.
Reducing the chances of Burnout
We have all had a case of burnout. That feeling of no drive with a huge helping of frustration. That comes from pushing too hard and not stopping to breathe from time to time. One of the biggest suggestions to fight burnout is to slow down and do something different for a bit.
One of the reasons for burnout is the stress of trying to get something done and not having a finish line. You can withstand stress for a little while but too much for a prolonged period of time can cause anxiety, assorted health problems like heart attacks, weight gain, and much more.
Yeah, we have to work and the pleasure you get from your work is important. Yet to work at the sacrifice of your wellbeing is counterproductive. Think of how much less stressful you are when you take the time to stop what you are doing and laugh. Even with your co-workers. Its called comic relief for a reason. You can’t be serious all the time.
Replenishes your reserves.
Again like a car, you can’t run forever. Eventually, you have to replenish your creative tank. The best way to do this is just simply to slow down, change the pace of what you are doing and do something completely different. When you change your pace you decrease the levels of stress in your body. So slow down and let yourself goof off for a bit.
When you do slow down you are allowing your mind to shift gears and not think 24/7 about your task at hand. Now if you have a short way to go before you are finished then go ahead and finish that project and then celebrate that win before starting up a new task.
Goofing off can increase your motivation
Finally, if you are lacking that motivation for finishing or starting a project then it is good to stop for a while to let your brain rest. Let those creative juices build back up. Doing so can even help you get that last little push to finish your project. You have more energy and often you are determined to get back to that task you love.
When do you need to take a break?
Many times we are busting our tails to get a project down. We have our heads down and we forget to even look up. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When you are in the flow or einstein time you are in the most productive state you can be in.
Yet if you find yourself getting frustrated, angry, and taking that frustration out on your loved ones and your teammates then it is time to step back and catch your breath. This is often called a 5 by 5 or Step back 5 feet for 5 minutes. This is a short type of break but then there are times that even a 5by5 doesn’t work and it is time to put the tools of destruction down and take a longer break.
Some obvious signs that we need to go goof off for a bit and us men ignore.
When it becomes a quest.
Have you ever had the frustration level become so high that you refuse to let the object of your frustration win? Your dear knowing wife sees your growing frustration and suggest a change, and your response is the Clark W. Griswald’s response, “This is a quest”
Sometimes we have to get past that obstacle it is great when we do but when we refuse to stop and break that is a good sign that we do need to stop and walk away for a little while.
We have all been there right guys?
We have all become so mired in our todo list that it almost becomes a monster of epic proportions. When we fail to see the end that is when burnout sneaks up and can cause us to lose all focus and feel overwhelmed.
Can’t find the answer
Another time that goofing off comes into play is when you are searching for a solution and it simply will not show itself. This problem is a sure-fire reason to stop and take a break from the task at hand and do a little goofing off.
Give that big beautiful brain of your a break let it rest and recoup from the major work you have been doing. Once you have taken a day off you most likely will have the answer suddenly pop into your head.
Why Taking too much of a break is bad.
Yep as all good things you can overdo it in the goofing off department. There are problems when you are looking to relax too much in your life. You need some discomfort but not to the detriment of your mental and physical health. So what are some drawback of taking too much of a break?
Getting the rhythm back
Have you ever taken a vacation and found it hard to get back in the rhythm of the job? If you find that you are dreading getting back to work that is a sign that you may have a mismatch with your goals in life. The Job isn’t serving you.
Now, if you are just facing a slow to your pace again that can because you are breaking way too much. You aren’t really letting yourself get into the full speed before you are heading off to do another task.
Sometimes it is good to power through as it will help you to flex that mental muscle, and like a muscle, you have to stress it for it to get more efficient. If you don’t stress your brain and push the exercise your mind will get a bit soft. So yeah, I am saying you can get soft in the head if you lounge around too much. You want to break and reset not use stress as an excuse to not get your stuff done.
It can break your flow
Now if you are in the middle of a flow state or as Gay Hendricks calls it, your Einstien time then keep going let that beautiful state, run. I find myself entering that flow state only on rare times and so when I do get in it, I love the sensation. Yet some people may actually get weirded out by the hyper-productivity you get from that and want to break from it. Don’t break your flow. Unless you have been in the flow state for the past 24 hours then you may want to let your body rest. I will leave that up to you.
If the task is truly nearly done
Say you are running your own business and you are putting together a marketing plan with your team. You have been hustling your butts off for the last two weeks getting the content all recorded for videos, you have 30 blog posts written up and ready to go out to guest blogging sites and you have your webinar content all laid out. You only have a week to go until you are finished and unleash your juggernaut of a product out into the world.
That isn’t the time to take a break. You have a window to push and you know a month after this marketing push you will have 90% of it on autopilot and you can breathe. Then keep pushing. You will reap the rewards as you are able to go and recoup from all the incredible hard work you have applied.
Yeah even if you are tired push through that and you can goof off after this season of your business. How would it fare if George Washington said we will take a break halfway through crossing the Potomac? It wouldn’t have fared well at all. So it is a tough time but you are tougher and you can power through this tough time and rest at the end.
Helpful ways to Goof Off
Now there are helpful ways and not so helpful ways to goof off. We won’t worry about the not so good ways because you can pretty much figure them out.
Spend time with your kids
If there is anybody who runs at a completely different pace as you, it will be your kids. They do stuff for the fun of it. IF there is ever a change of pace and the heart of goofing off follow your kids leads. It may be as easy as throwing a ball or it may be as aggravating as trying to play Fortnite with them. Either way, your thoughts will be focused completely on them and their task at hand.
Wash the dishes
This has two benefits. One is your change of pace and you get your mind on a different task and also you raise your chances of getting lucky after the kids go to bed.
Washing dishes is a huge change of pace and of environment. It can be a time for your mind to just run with its thoughts and almost hit a zen state of processing your thoughts and events for the time being.
Get a hobby
There are reasons that hobbies are needed in a man’s life. If for any reason is that it is a great change of pace. You can let your mind work on another passion of yours and not have the pressure of making sure it will make you money. The change of pace and scenery is exactly what the doctor ordered. You don’t have to spend exurbanite amount of time on it each day you can pick it up and work on it when you need it.
Take a nap
I have talked about the power of a good nap. Many of the most successful men in history were known for their napping skills. Naps and sleep are restorative. They help your mind process the problems we face and to come up with solutions. It allows the brain to fully repair and make new connections with other parts of the brain.
Want a change of pace that will also help your mind to slow down and look at new perspectives? Then get outdoors. There are many benefits to getting outside that help your emotional health.
First of all, there is vitamin D and the bright light that helps your mood. THen the exercise you get while outdoors. On top of all that the air is by far better and cleaner than your hermetically-sealed house or office.
Next, if you can take an extended break then get outdoors and spend 3 days out under the stars. This will give you the 3-day effect which will affect your mood and mental processing. It is even better when you can bring you son along. So I will always recommend getting outside.
I know that work is important to us men. That is not the question but driving your self to the brink of exhaustion isn’t always the best answer. You can stop and goof off from time to time as long as you don’t use it as an excuse to not get stuff done.