Slack off, get weird and plot!

How do you work smart when it’s holiday time?

Work Smart Not Hard Tip No. 17 in a series written for Indie Cambs

Part of running our own business means that it’s hard to switch off even when we’re on holiday

Conversations with business owners reveal feelings of guilt about spending time not working. However, having fun, and doing something that isn’t work related is vitally important to our health and long-term productivity. Think of recreation as re-creation – a time to renew our passions, energy, and creativity.

Here are three ways to get around the feelings of guilt and make sure you’re enjoying time off while being creative about your businesses.

Slack Off

Instead of switching off, which many people find impossible, try slacking off instead. Think of yourself like a boat that is tied tightly to a mooring. When the tide drops the boat dangles awkwardly from the rope, or if the tide comes in it can get swamped. Slacking off the rope gives you a chance to float without any effort so you can go with the flow a bit. You’re still safe, not drifting, but relaxed and not tied to a timetable or schedule.

Get Weird

You can’t just float there and expect fun to come and find you, you have to figure out what makes you laugh, what brings you joy, and seek it out, but sometimes, when we try to plan enjoyable things the fun police turn up in our heads and say things like “Did you do enough work to deserve this treat?” or “You should just do this work thing before you do that fun thing.”

The way round this is to do things spontaneously. Try some of these: high five a passer-by, jump in a puddle, pretend to be a secret agent, practice your evil laugh in an echoey room, sleep under the stars, slurp a lollipop loudly, walk like a model (including pirouettes), lie on the grass – preferably where it says “keep off the grass” – and ponder the clouds, yodel, make up a word and use it impressively and impromptually*, invent a new superstition and convince people it’s real, wear a crazy hat all day, pretend you’re a cat, give yourself a present for no reason, skip instead of walking.
*that’s a new word.


When you’re busy being weird and having fun, your brain does weird things too. Endorphins, adrenaline, and dopamine are released. Neuroscience suggests that the highest-level executive thinking, making connections and ‘aha’ moments are more likely to occur in moments of ‘exuberant discovery.’ Slacking off and getting weird almost always leads to great ideas, problem solving, and creative thinking in abundance, so when great ideas pop into your head, start plotting how to do this more often!

Most of us started our own business to have more freedom in how we spend our time and the best work smart tip of all is to have more fun. If you can build fun into your work time as well as holiday time you’ll not only be more productive, you’ll attract more customers because everyone loves to be around people who are having fun.
It’s a serious business advantage.

I’d love to know what you do to have fun, and how you’re plotting to do more of it – let me know!

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