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#363: "Take a Hike" for Creativity

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, August 04, 2010
When I get stressed out, I need to take a day off and cool down, having set aside a number of days for these mini-vacations. Does this make sense?

That's something you have to decide, based on how much is on your mind, and whether a day off reduces or adds to your stress. Some people find that stress coming from overwork is only made worse by taking time away from work. In these cases, you probably need to look at the source of the stress problem rather than the specific approach to temporarily reduce the symptom.

For situations where the pressures of work starts to get to you - consider just standing up, moving away from the desk, and taking a walk. This is anathema to some hard charging, Type A consultants but it is amazing how well it works - in any weather. Go outside, take a deep breath and walk with no particular destination for a half hour or so. Don't focus on the problem at hand. Just give yourself a short break from the business. You will be surprised at how a little exercise, a change of venue and some open air can help you to clear your head and come back to the issue refreshed and perhaps with a "fresh" perspective. There is even neurological research that shows why this works so well.

Tip: Decide in advance that this is a legitimate approach to get more energy, more focus and more productivity than just plowing ahead under stress. This will make it easy to justify it as a good strategy when the situation is upon you.

© 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  consulting lifestyle  health  work-life balance 

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