As I write these words, the summer is almost over. School has already begun in many places throughout our country and will soon start in the rest. Vacations have (hopefully) been taken, and before you know it, it’s back to the ol’ grind again. Yay!
So, have YOU taken a vacation? Did you have the chance to get away and do something fun, relaxing, or otherwise fulfilling this summer? If not, why not? There have been countless studies done and research conducted that prove that people who take the time to take vacations live longer, happier and healthier lives. Google that if you don’t believe me. Or ask the guy who just sold us our new timeshare.
Some time ago (when I was -gasp- working a full-time job), I started to get burned out from it. I began hating the thought of going there and facing certain people again, and even the activity of what I was doing started to get on my nerves. The funny part is that my job at the time was the best “job” I’d ever had: I was a Ballroom Dance Instructor!
I remember asking myself, “Why am I feeling this way about what I’m doing? I love what I do!”
Then the thought hit me: I realized that I hadn’t had a vacation in 6 years! Like a lot of people, I was simply working too hard to think about it. So I immediately set one up -a week at the beach- then planned it out and went.
It was absolutely the best decision I could have made! When I came back from that vacation, I was re-energized, re-focused and re-committed to what I was doing. It was as if I’d replaced my batteries with fresh, new ones. I’ll spare you the details of the various debauchery I participated in on that vacation, but you get the idea! (Hint: I was in my late twenties.)
So, how about YOU? When was the last vacation you took? When was the last time you just completely unplugged yourself from your daily routine and did something FUN or otherwise completely unrelated to what you normally do?
Now, I realize that if you’re reading this article, you’re probably an entrepreneur who (hopefully) loves what you do already. For many of us, our vocation is like a vacation. And that’s extremely cool! But, it doesn’t count. Even if you absolutely LOVE what you do and can’t wait to get to it, you still occasionally need to just get away from it for a little while in order to stay fresh. Shoot, even Ron goes salmon fishing every once in a while!
Obviously, if you’re right in the middle of a big deal or reorganizing something important and you just can’t get away, that’s one thing. But it will be very important to at least schedule the time to go reward yourself (and your family, if applicable) when the deal is done.
Here’s some good news if you just don’t have the time to get away for any sort of extended period: You can always take a ‘mini vacation!’
Here’s How It Works: Have you ever been right in the middle of something challenging that you just can’t quite understand or figure out what to do or how to do it? Who hasn’t right? Here’s something you might try—this has worked for me and others countless times… If you’re just feeling ‘stuck’ about something and don’t know what to do next, try this:
First, ask yourself an open-ended question, such as “What do I need to do to get this to work?”
Then, get up and do something completely different!
Go take a walk. Ride your bike. Play some tennis or golf. Go work out. Read a book. Whatever. Just do something completely different that gets your body moving or brain functioning about anything unrelated to your situation or challenge.
Here’s What You’ll Find: After a while, you’ll eventually get back to where you were and what you were working on. At some point, your brain will “magically” bring you the answer you need. Maybe the answer will even hit you before you get back to work! That answer could come anytime, anywhere: In the shower, in the middle of the night, while you’re driving or even while you’re working out—so be ready!
And when you get that answer you need, you’ll often find that there’s a burst of energy you need to get it done that comes along with that answer. So get busy on it. Take the action you now know you need to get it done and watch what happens as a result. Very cool.
So, if you’re ever feeling a little tired or burnt out of what you’re doing, you now know what you need to do to make yourself feel refreshed, re-energized, and re-committed to your activities.
Sometimes, you’ve just got to UNPLUG yourself in order to RECHARGE your batteries!
It’s weird how that works, but it does.
Hope this helps, and we’ll see you next month!