Time and productivity columnist for the NZ Herald

Robyn Pearce: How to keep that holiday feeling for longer

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Everyone needs regular time out. Don't wait until the next holiday to recharge. Photo / 123RF
Everyone needs regular time out. Don't wait until the next holiday to recharge. Photo / 123RF


COMMENT: Some practical steps to help you sustain your holiday joie de vivre past the first few hours back at work!.

Here are some practical steps to help you sustain your holiday joie de vivre past the first few hours back at work!

Step 1: Lock in 'time out' - every week

Recharge and personal time is too important to leave to chance - it needs to be planned for. If you consistently plan your week rather than just your day it's far easier to schedule 'me' time.

Most people use their diary as an appointment taker and if there's a gap, other things are squeezed in. I encourage you to flip that behaviour.

Instead, turn your diary into a planning tool. Download my free ebook 'How to Master Time in 90 Seconds' at for a quick overview of how to plan and prioritise in such a way that you are included in the schedule.

Step 2: 'Me' time is NOT selfish!

If you've ever thought that giving yourself time out is selfish - GET OVER IT! In fact it's a caring thing to do, for others as well as yourself. If you're burnt out and exhausted, who's going to do your job and keep your home fires burning brightly?

Step 3: Get the right language around the issue

Don't say 'I can't fit it in'. Instead ask 'How can I fit it in?' The quality of the question determines the quality of the answer.

Step 4: Even a few minutes a day makes a difference

Ask yourself: 'If I give myself 30 minutes a day to do anything I like, what would I do and when and where would I do it?' Just the very idea of regular 'me' time is energising and exciting (and for some it's so uncommon that at first it's scary!) If you're in a family or partnership, you can support each other to have this space.

Step 5: Separate home and business

This is one of the hardest issues for business owners, and even more challenging if family members also work in the business. Trouble is, keeping going becomes a habit. Decide on an action that says 'we're done for the day'.

It might be turning off the computer, shutting the home office door or a humorous penalty system (like a Fines Jar) if work is discussed after a set time. The list below includes a couple of other techniques.

Some daily 'chill out' strategies:

• Drive home by a lovely setting and take 10 minutes to walk in the fresh air.

• At the beginning of the day get up 30 minutes earlier than the family and use that as your quiet time.

• Change your clothes and take a shower as soon as you walk in - cast off the day's events by casting off the clothes.

•Instead of turning on the TV with its attendant crop of noise and disasters, put on some quiet relaxing music.

•Get into a regular exercise programme. If you don't like exercising alone, find a support group or start one.

•Have a regular time to stop. Many people have a ritual 'before-dinner' drink where they sit down and relax. If possible, avoid having such a break with the 6 o'clock news - instead of relaxing you're bringing in the world. No 'me time' there - just gloom and doom! If anything really dramatic happens someone will tell you!

Everyone needs regular time out. Don't wait until the next holiday to recharge.

Make it a consistent daily and weekly habit and you'll be far more productive when you are at work.

- NZ Herald

Robyn Pearce (known as the Time Queen) runs an international time management and productivity business, based in New Zealand. If you'd like a conference speaker, time management training for your firm, or to receive your free report 'How To Master Time In Only 90 Seconds' and ongoing time tips, check out gettingagrip.com

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Time and productivity columnist for the NZ Herald

For 22 years author and speaker Robyn Pearce (known by her clients as the Time Queen) has been sharing her experiences and knowledge about time management and productivity with countless clients and readers around the world as a keynote speaker, educator, coach and writer of 8 books and many hundreds of articles. She often appears as a subject specialist on television and radio. Robyn learnt her subject the hard way. Through the years of raising six kids, single parenthood and then a highly successful real estate career, time management was her biggest challenge. The good news is – she won, and now helps others find more time.

Read more by Robyn Pearce

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