The Value of Vacations and Breaks

We are coming up to the end of summer and solopreneurs need to be reminded of the value of vacations and breaks.  They need time to relax and reflect on those important questions:  What do I love about my business?  What do I not love about my business?  What is unique about it?  Is it time to make some changes?

Definition of a Workaholic

There’s more to life than work!  Did you hear yourself saying that during or following your vacation this summer? The work ethic is so strong in our culture that regardless of our role, we often feel guilty about

  • Working less than 65 hours per week
  • Taking a vacation
  • Feeling tired
  • Leaving work early
  • Taking a mental health day
  • Being sick
  • Looking after our own needs

and it’s only after we have come down from the stress of work and business that we come to our senses. Are you a workaholic who is striving to meet unrealistic expectations (of others or yourself)?

Definition of a Healthy Worker

In The Complete Guide to Your Emotions and Your Health – New Dimensions in Mind/Body Healing (edited by Emrika Padus of Prevention Magazine), a healthy worker is defined as one who

  • Knows when to stop
  • Can spot the beginning of fatigue and respond promptly
  • Spend time with family and friends
  • Schedule and enjoy vacations
  • Exercises regularly
  • Has other outlets for their personal drive – other than work
  • Knows what to do with and is comfortable with leisure time
  • Can handle doing nothing
  • Is comfortable in unstructured time

Build a vacation retreat into every day

Well first of all we can “stop yearning for time we don’t have and make use of the time we do have” (The Artist’s Way at Work by Bryan, Cameron & Allen) We can pay more attention to our needs and decide to look after them. We can bring comfort to our lives. We can take some spiritual/intellectual breaks, go for walks, listen to relaxing music in the car….I’m sure we know what would work. So why don’t we do it?

See instructions for doing mini-retreats in Planning The New Year

Planning to be Productive

In The Great Crossover, Dan Sullivan suggests that our most productive time is ten days following a vacation. We all return to work with new perspectives, higher energy and likely a breakthrough, so why not plan for 5 to 10 breakthrough times per year? He says we should take free time just prior to the time we need to achieve success, productivity and results.

Rejuvenate yourself in a healthy way (eating nourishing foods, getting lots of sleep, exercise and meditating time, and spending time in nature) knowing that you will become more productive.

What systemic barriers could you remove so that you can make the most of your creative/focus time? What aspects of your business will encourage you to remember the importance of personal rejuvenation?

The Value of Vacations and Breaks

Here’s a list of benefits you can get from a vacation, how many did you experience? Can you add to this list? 

Relaxation

Meeting new people

Education

Adventure

Memories

Time standing still

Contrast – a different personal space

Renewed focus

Escape from overload

Fellowship and camaraderie

New skills

Beauty

Freedom

Happiness & laughter

Being in the moment

Absorption and flow

Stimulation of new insights

Romance

Surprise

Anticipation

Self-discovery

Sharpened awareness

Joy in nature

Just soaking up the sun

Mindset Monday Challenge

Did you take a vacation yet?  What new insights did you gain while on vacation?

Which definition fits you best?  – workaholic or  healthy worker?

How can you incorporate those vacation traits into your day to day life and work?

What are the ways that you unwind? Which are healthy and which are unhealthy?

What new habit would you like to incorporate into your day-to-day routine?  

Be sure to share your  insights in the comments below!

Walk to the Well

Walk to the Well, a wonderful Rumi poem to inspire deeper reflection on life and work.

Last time, we looked at living life as a work of art and wondered how to move from being mechanical to creating a work of art.  Rumi’s poem gives some insight:

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Life as a Work of Art – A Reflection

Some time ago,  I came across a quotation by Rabbi Abraham Heschelt (as quoted by his daughter on CBC Radio) that gave me pause for reflection.  More recently, I have been searching for some inspiration in my work and realized it was right here, I had discovered it before –   Life as a work of art.

“Live your life as though it were a work of art, not a machine.”

And I could also say,  “Live your work as though it were a work of art, not a machine”

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