It’s easy to fill your time off with activities that are as much work as the job you’re taking a break from. Even if they’re fun, they’re still work. If too much of your downtime is fun-work, you’re not really getting a break. You’re just switching tasks.
Examples of fun-work:
- Training for a running race you entered with your friends.
- Finishing that project that’s been sitting in your garage.
- Spending the whole day at historical attractions in the town you’re visiting.
- Learning to cook that elaborate thing you saw on a cooking show.
Personally, I enjoy all of these. They’re rewarding. They also take energy. They’re a form of work.
Examples of workless-fun:
- Hanging out with friends for no reason except to see them.
- Watching videos of people working on projects in their garages.
- Drinking coffee in a cafe overlooking the skyline of the town you’re visiting.
- Going to a restaurant you’ve been meaning to try.
To get the full recharge that downtime can give me, I’ve found that I need to do as much workless-fun as I do fun-work. Otherwise, I’ll get back to the office exactly as tired as when I left. I’ll be more fulfilled as a person, but I’ll still be tired.
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