I like to work hard, but I also like to chill, and enjoy life. But if I’m being honest, I suck at making time to chill. I’ve often felt trapped by my own productivity routines.

I love Spartan Traveler’s solution, to:

Work in ruthlessly protected cycles with carefully-scheduled breaks.

More specifically:

Every 4th week, drop the intensity and/or weight by 50% to give yourself a chance to recover.

As a recovering workaholic, I’ve found this method has worked for me, at least during my gap year. I get time to be scheduled and intense about work, and scheduled and intense about play.

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I found the time away from intense work also made me more creative. When I stepped away from work, I got insights I couldn’t generate when I was working at 100%.

In October, only when I took my first deload week did I get a crucial insight to my business…

In March, I’m starting work again, and I plan to use deload weeks then too. Normal weeks, I plan to write or work on Quickapply weekend mornings and some weeknights.

For deload weeks, I want to drop all that. I’ll still publish one piece of writing that week, but that’ll be it. I’ll use the weekend to have tons of fun. I’ll budget for some trips to SD and some music festivals. I might use PTO for the Monday.

Deload weeks are but a simple reframe, but I’m stoked.

If this got your interest, read Spartan Traveler’s full piece.

And here’s Steve Pavlina’s take, where he explains how to use a similar concept, "level 10 productivity", to unlock special insights.