10:00am Parrot talk. Swim, snorkel, kayak.
3:30pm Popsicles by the pool.
Walk the beach.
Check out the sea turtles.
That was the extent of my ‘schedule’ for the past week. I just returned from a vacation with my husband and two children on the beautiful island of Kaua’i. What a phenomenal place to spend quality time together. And, what made it extra special? The computer and the iPhone were off. No email, no Internet. Just my ‘Out of Office’ email turned on.
It’s been nearly two years since I took a week off, completely sans access. That sounds ridiculous as I type this. Why did I go that long without a real hiatus?! I take long weekend breaks fairly often;’ however, the true disconnect (of at least 7 days) should happen at least once a year, if not a few times! Vacation— true Time Off with a capital T. O. — is one of the BEST strategies to take your business to the next level.
Why? It’s the perspective shift. You get to look at your life, your business from a new angle. Free to contemplate the endless possibilities while staring at the ocean opens our thoughts to fresh ideas and approaches. You give yourself a chance to (re)fuel your inspiration and preempt jadedness for your goals.
What’s my secret to rejuvenate during these trips? Do I tackle the work that I want to “catch up” on? Not a chance. Do I keep a journal and brainstorm ideas? I don’t.
I let go. By giving myself permission to re-engage when I return, I essentially allow the ‘meditation’ of thoughts floating in and out all week, not attaching to any single one. When I walk back in the office I plug in to this energy and see what resonates with me. I confess, it took a while to master vacation without at least a notebook, but when you let go 100%, you break frameworks in which your mind yearns to stay.
Here’s the usual outcome: What I thought possible prior to the trip now seems small and limited. I will return with an even bigger version for myself.
And, if I don’t, I still win. As much as I enjoy the work I do, a day at the pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean or a walk on the beach with the island breeze wins every time.
Ultimately, you don’t need Hawaii to get all these vacation benefits. Small daily routines (like spending your first hour of the day offline) can emulate the vacation effect.
When is your next escape? How will you let your mind be free in the next 30 days? Do you have daily rituals to emulate the vacation effect? If not, go create one.