Doctor's orders: slack off and enjoy it

Leave work early guilt-free.  It's good for your health.
photo: Gorkaazk

Summer is approaching, the days are longer, and the weather is warmer.  It's time to slack off.  Really.  With good conscience, you can turn off the computer, step away from the desk and leave the office behind.  Why?

According to researchers, bolting from the office for a little R&R is not to be frowned upon.  In fact, it is a medical necessity.  A study recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine reveals that people who work 11 or more hours each day have a 67% higher risk of suffering a heart attack than those who work between 7 and 8 hours each day.

So slough off that work ethic that has you toiling away at the office well past dinner time.  Though you might be able to  convince yourself that it is good for your career, it is not good for your health.  Living a more balanced life and increasing activity in your day will, in fact, make you a better worker and a happier and healthier person.

I know.  If you are a workaholic, the thought of leaving the office early may cause you to hyperventilate.  It may be very difficult to pry your fingers away from the keyboard.  I understand.  I'm a type A personality, too.  Here are some ideas to create a bit more balance, and a few healthy habits, into your life:
  1. Sign up for an adult education course that meets during the week, right after work hours: try wine tasting, cooking, pottery, photography, or dance classes.  
  2. Find a like-minded friend and train for a marathon.  Schedule your runs together and stay committed.
  3. Chart out all the public grounds in your area where you can bike, hike, or stroll.  Visit one each weekday at a specified time.
  4. Commit to an exercise class that starts at 5:00 and get there.  Every week.
  5. Pick a night to get out of the office.  Schedule events by yourself or with friends that will force you out.  Perhaps you schedule 5:30 pedicures one week, an early movie the next, and a trip to the art museum the following week. Having a commitment with a friend will help you keep your date.
The thought of leaving the office to pursue a passion or learn something new is a bit exciting, isn't it?  Maybe after the summer is over you'll become a bona fide slacker.  I'm pretty sure they have more fun than workaholics do.

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