When to Rest and When to Work Ahead

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14 Apr When to Rest and When to Work Ahead

    In today’s fast-paced world, most of us feel as though we have to put in 110% just to stay on top of our deadlines. It’s rare for us to get even a breather so we can gather our wits before moving on to the next task, and it’s even rarer for us to have some time to rest or to be proactive.

    Still, stranger things have happened, and most industries have times that are quieter than others. On top of that, there are always natural lulls in our own workloads, and sometimes the two coincide and give us the time and space we need to either take a break or to work ahead. It’s a tough choice to make, and both options have their merits.

    Taking a break is a good idea because it helps to decrease the risk of burnout, and it also allows you to take a step back from the work that you’re doing and to look at it with a fresh pair of eyes. We all need a break sometimes, which is why more and more entrepreneurs are going on yoga retreats or adopting meditation, but there’s a difference between taking a well-earned break and slacking off just because you have no immediate deadlines.

     

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    Working ahead

    In certain circumstances, we have to work ahead. For example, if we know that a team member is going on holiday then we need to plan ahead and get them to finish up any work that might be needed from them before they go. If you know you’re going to need to release a video when your film-maker is away, it makes no sense to wait until it’s too late and then to pay extra to bring a freelancer in.

    At other times, we work ahead purely because we can. For example, if it’s quiet over the holiday period, many of us spend that time catching up with deadlines and forging ahead with some of the stuff we have to deal with in January. This is a no-brainer because it’s the best use of our time. We could sit around twiddling our thumbs and watching the clock, or we could work ahead to make our lives a little easier once everyone comes back to the office.

    Working too far ahead can be a problem, though. For example, it could be counterproductive to spend time creating three months’ worth of social media content because you risk it no longer being relevant when it’s time to post it. If that happens, your time has been wasted, and you might as well have spent the time resting in the first place.

     

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    Getting the balance right

    Ultimately, as with most things, the key is to get the balance right. That way, you can look after your physical and mental health by taking breaks whilst simultaneously working ahead when appropriate to lighten the load in the future. Achieving this balance is one of the keys to longevity in both sales and marketing, and it’s never too early to get started. Good luck.

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Dane Cobain
dane@bant.io

Dane is a published author and freelance writer, editor and social media marketer. He has been featured in multiple major news outlets including The Guardian, The Metro and BBC online and radio.