This past Christmas period gave me (and almost everyone else) an opportunity to take a much-needed break from work.
You can be sure that I wasn’t entirely off-work — I responded to emails & did some behind-the-scenes client work.
But it was very laid back and slow.
Almost like a meditation.
I was completely in control of how I did my work; and when.
But beyond enjoying the slow pace & lack of pressure, I re-discovered something I’d always known: That there’s great power in taking a step back to look at the big picture of my business; rather than focusing only on the day to day tasks that never seem to end.
In addition, the break gave me an opportunity to create some excellent resources to help me serve clients even better.
And so I found myself saying, “I wish I didn’t have to wait until December; I wish I could take more of such breaks.”
At first I dismissed it as wishful thinking; since life will always be busy.
But then I asked myself, “Whose rule is that? Who says that we must be under pressure?”
After all, I’m not a doctor or anything like that, so I’m not directly saving anyone’s life.
Therefore, the only emergency that exists in my work is the one I create for myself; or allow to be imposed on me.
As soon as I framed it that way, I was then able to see that with proper planning, I could indeed take breaks as often as I need throughout the year — yet without impacting client results.
And so I made a decision right there to take a 3-month “vacation” this year 2020.
In fact I didn’t just decide; I implemented it right away by creating the time on my calendar.
By taking monthly breaks.
So, rather than disappear for 3 months all at once, I’m going to take 1 week off every single month.
That way, I get 12 weeks in the year; which still translates to 3 months altogether.
What will I be doing during the 1-week break?
I’ll be resting, planning, creating, and working slowly behind-the-scenes.
I’ll still reply to emails & support clients; but there won’t be any 1-on-1 video calls during that week.
Some might argue that this is not a real vacation; since I’m working behind-the-scenes. And maybe they’re right.
But it doesn’t matter one bit to me.
Cos I know exactly what I’ll benefit from this exercise. And it’s way better than what I had last year — which was no break at all.
Could it work for you?
This approach will definitely not work for everyone — it depends on your business model.
But the key goal and essence of this message is that you should consciously create time for breaks; and take them very seriously.
Use the time for reflection and analysis.
Do big picture thinking and planning.
Work on your business; not just in it like an employee.
And just rest.
‘Cos you deserve it.