Breaks Lead To Breakthroughs
It's important to remember that, sometimes, to get ahead, we have to stop and take time to refuel.
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I've recently returned from a week's vacation. In the entrepreneurial world, we're used to the hustle of working long hours and sacrificing fun, hobbies and recreational activities to establish or maintain our business. We've all been guilty of this from time to time- but I always advocate for the taking of regular breaks to restore (and bring) balance to your life. It's important to remember that, sometimes, to get ahead, we have to stop and take time to refuel. It is neither healthy nor productive to keep pushing on empty. And, it's not only you who suffers when this happens- those around you are affected too.
Having a relatively young family, it's important to me to take time out and prioritize my children and family. I've often said I'm not willing to be the greatest professional mentor, if the trade-off is I can't be the greatest father to my children. Taking time out isn't only for our benefit, but for the benefit of those around us. I schedule one-on-one time with my children every week, so they know they have quality time alone with me, when I'm engaged and listening. This time also really helps them understand what I do for a living. When I tell them I have a meeting, they say, "What, like you and I now, daddy?"
While making time for ourselves each week is a great start, it won't be enough to recharge one's batteries. Taking a vacation protects the quality time we all need to have with those who are dear to us and, in so doing, re-energizes us as entrepreneurs as well. Here are four reasons to take a vacation:
1. Refuel We all need to have adequate rest and recovery. We can't afford to overstretch ourselves. Tension can be productive, but when we're overburdened, and that tension turns into unhealthy stress, something will break. Just like an elastic band, when you're overstretched, you will snap, and we all know how painful a snapped elastic band can hurt your finger.
2. Change of environment When we become familiar with the environment we are in, we can become stale, stagnant and repetitive. Whenever I travel or spend time in a different environment, it spikes my creativity and imagination. The wonders of new scenery bring healing and a freshness to your mood, ideas and thoughts.
3. Connection Getting time out gives you the opportunity to give the best of yourself to those who love you the most. When we're hustling and working flat out (and there will be times we all have to do that), those who love us need to know we haven't forgotten about them, and that we still do care. Children spell love as "T-I-M-E," so when we take time to be fully focused on our families and those dear to us, it strengthens bonds.
4. Rest There's nothing like a vacation to help you catch up on some much-needed sleep. When we don't have to work at a set time, when we don't have to set the alarm and we can be a little more leisurely and relaxed, it enables us to sleep longer and better. Although it's important (like a diet) that we don't yo-yo with our sleeping patterns, an extra 30 minutes of sleep can help with muscle fatigue, strengthen your brain's ability to focus and problem-solve, and put you in a better mood, with increased energy levels.