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I find it incredibly challenging to give myself permission to take time off from work and relax. As a business owner, I am constantly working. Or thinking about work. Or feeling guilty for not working when I’m doing anything that isn’t work.
A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to take some time off and go to Disney World with my family to ride the new Millenium Falcon ride (it was epic). However, before I left, I couldn't help being filled with a sense of dread that I would not be getting any work done while I was there. I knew I would have fun, relax, and recharge, but I find it extremely challenging to do these important things. But I did it! I didn’t even take my computer on the trip. I only had my phone to respond to emails - that’s it! It ended up being amazing - and I returned home recharged and ready to go.
As I am planning my new year, I will be scheduling in relaxing activities and time off - as if it was an essential client meeting! Yup, it’s that important.
Taking lots of time off might not be possible all the time, so consider the following ideas for incorporating more ‘not work’ into your life:
CEO’s make time to do nothing too. Check out this article about LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner. He schedules time to do nothing every day. If he can do it, then so can I.
I set goals all of the time for my business, for my health, for projects around the house…so now I set goals for taking time off, for not working, and giving myself time to do nothing. It’s so hard, but once you get into the habit, it becomes easier. Kinda.
While meditation isn’t technically ‘doing nothing,’ it doesn’t involve me working or thinking about work. As this article discusses, meditation has been proven to help reduce stress, improve resilience, and increase immunity. Mindfulness meditations are not only a great way for me to sit still and ‘do nothing,’ they are also a way for me to secretly multi-task by becoming healthier overall.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the craziness of life – work, social media, work, television, kids, work. I’ve made a list of the things that really matter to me. And what’s funny is work isn’t on it! It’s a list of people. But I spend the majority of my time working. I struggle with this obvious disconnect, but I’m working on it. I look at my list, and I remind myself that it’s ok to stop working to go and spend time with the people I love doing the things that I love.
When I was at a full-time salaried job I never hesitated to take my vacation time. Now that I work for myself, I usually never even take a weekend off. But, I’ve noticed, that when I do take time off, that I come back with energy and ideas. I’m better because I took a break.
Vacations - real vacations, without my computer, are also a thing!!! There is a bunch of science behind how important it is to take vacations. And you might actually live longer if you take vacations.
So, did I just write an entire blog post to convince myself that it’s ok to take some time off and enjoy myself? Yes! I totally did! But that’s ok. If I needed the pep talk, then maybe you did as well.
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