Productive Things to Do During Your Downtime


The fast-paced lifestyle, busy schedules and 24/7 social media updates, information surplus bombarded into your life constantly, one is bound to feel down, low and burned out sometimes. All the work, busy schedule and stress can take a lot out of a person. That’s when it is time for a vacation; time to slow down, stop rushing into things, recharge, spend time seeing your loved ones and do the things that you would like to do but didn’t do for ‘lack of time’.

We have made a good list of ideas for productive things to do during your break time, downtime, vacation time, sabbatical; whatever you may call it. Pick one and keep yourself on course.

Learn about newer technology
When you have a packed list of things to do every day, you would hardly have time to know and learn about the newer technologies hitting the board. But learning about these new technologies is important too, to stay in sync with what’s happening in the world. Break time is the perfect time to download, play around and figure out these new technologies; especially messaging apps and photo editing apps, which will only further enhance your creation skills.

Write thank-you notes
It’s like going back in time for a few of us in our increasingly informal, digital world. Make your loved one’s day by writing them a meaningful, personal hand-written thank-you note. They don’t just show your appreciation, but also brings back a sense of nostalgia for them, and are so easy too!


Make some me-time appointments
Now is the time to indulge and pamper yourself. Make some me-time appointments and visit the spa, your doctor, your dentist your hair stylist. Spruce up your car the way you always wanted to. Make a list of all the minor things you just can’t seem to get to when you’re on your regular schedule and check them off the list or schedule them for the future.

Make future plans
Whether it is a whole trip coming up or just a dinner, spend some time chalking out the plan, which you may not have had time to do and make reservations in advance. Before you realise it, it would be time for that much-needed trip or family dinner, so making plans early helps you do it at your own pace and without a rush avoiding stress down the line.


Get your calendar organized
Plan your calendar and set it up ahead for the next set of days with important dates. The holidays are a perfect time to fill it out with the appointments and trips you have already planned. You can experiment with new formats to make sure you are ready to tackle work pressures and plunge into work head on, when you are back at office.

Talk about your work
Take advantage of the time you are away from work and focus on other parts of your life. Talk about what you do with the people you love, let them get a glimpse into what a work day is like for you. Work is an important part of our lives and takes up a major chunk of our waking hours, so sharing that can actually be a bonding exercise. Now is a great time to tell them what you do all day, why you like it and what your future plans are.

Call your long-distance friends
I’m sure you have that list of friends and family members that you have been planning to catch up with but never had the time. Well, now’s the time to do that and also get in touch with them; so pick up the phone, find a comfortable spot, call them and give them your full attention.

Start building a habit
Some say it takes 23 days to build a habit, while others add that it takes much longer. Whatever the number of days it takes, now is the time to start that habit. Holidays are the perfect time to get started. It could be a simple thing as deciding to brush every night before bed or keeping your phone away from the bed to avoid browsing online at night.

Learn a new skill for your job
Learn that much-needed skill that you have always wanted for your job, but could not; it will give you an added edge and can help you advance your career. Learn a course without interrupting family time, some certifications are free and take only a few hours to complete. Spend time browsing conferences or classes you could take in the future and fit them into your schedule.

Learn a new skill for yourself
Now, learn a skill set just for yourself and not your job; something that is not related to your job and which is fun to learn. It could be learning how to paint or decorate your home or learning a new language; the choice is endless. Pick something that excites you and makes you look forward to it; it can do wonders for your happiness, creativity and wellbeing. It will help you discover a new passion, meet other people and have fun.


Catch up on reading
It’s a favourite pastime of many and an essential vacation tip, to catch up on books and articles that you have been wanting to read badly. It is hard to find time to read when you are bogged down with work, but now you can cuddle up with a blanket and a book.

Your favourite movies and music
What better time than now, to binge-watch all your favourite and latest movies that you could never get yourself around to watch! And while you are not watching your set of movies, play your favourite music while you are working around the house, doing small chores or just lazing around and reading a book. 

Organize your inboxes
There are a lot of ways to organize all your inboxes. Create the categories, sub-categories and put in an automated message, when you are on your time off. But don’t get sucked in and start replying and spending a lot of time on it. Organize your inbox, log off and enjoy your break. Don’t forget to let your colleagues and clients know that you’ll be out. Leave a creative out-of-office message and enjoy your time!

Your time off is a perfect time to volunteer and do something that you have always wanted to. Maybe you could volunteer for some days at an animal shelter, childcare home, youth centre or old age home and not just do your bit for the society but also improve the lives of others.

Find some time for exercise
I’m sure you would know the benefits of exercise, so let’s not get into that now. The holiday season is a hard time to start or keep a regular exercise routine, so don’t let your time off get the better of you. Stay active even if it’s just for a little while and it can be easy and fun. It need not be intense, so find an activity like walking, vacuuming or even window shopping.exercise

Set goals
Make some time and make goals for yourself, it will give you a baseline for measuring success and the much-needed motivation to stay on path. Break larger goals into smaller ones by month and so on and so forth. Make a plan for staying on course and do it.

An ideal situation would be when you leave your real work for when you are back at work, but some get stressed when disconnected with the thought of missing out on what’s happening there. Don’t let that happen to you and if you really have to, then use the early hours of the day to get your work-related tasks done. That way, you will be able to focus on spending time with family and friends too. Take some time off to distance yourself from your day-to-day activities to be alone and reflect too; and enjoy your time off!

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