Working for yourself means taking time off is not as simple as turning an out-of-office response on

I know the exact moment on my recent holiday where I finally relaxed after months of overdoing it. Towards the end of a trip to the US, my friend and I spent an afternoon of trashy pleasure on the Warner Bros studio tour in Los Angeles.

After winding through film sets, our tour cart stopped outside a building that housed props from the Harry Potter movies. I’m not a Potter addict, but I found myself staring into a glass case filled with magic wands. Without realising, I gasped in a moment of unthinking awe. After months of staring at a computer screen, my brain had finally unclenched.

Taking time away means turning down opportunities. Unless you’re being offered a career-defining gig, try to say no

Related: Wanderlust: five ways to keep your job while travelling the world

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