“The art of doing nothing is really something”
In this Digital Age, it’s very hard for us to “turn off” our connection to our job, friends, and the world. People nowadays work more than ever, all due to the easy nature of modern technology. It is becoming increasingly difficult for people to take some real time off. Sure, it means something to be efficient and productive, but we all have to draw a line somewhere. After all, we are not robots.
In Europe, the average vacation time is 5 weeks per year. Here in North America, it’s 2 weeks, and even that is stretching it. I know people that even when they are on vacation, they still carry around their laptop and cell phone, and are never truly disconnected from their work. You see, real time off means that it’s time to focus on yourself. A few weeks ago, I went up north to a cottage with a friend and for the whole day, I did not turn on my cell phone or checked emails. That’s one of my most important rules for vacation time, whether I leave 1 week or 1 day. I disconnect myself completely from work and every day life. So imagine, with very little vacation time we already have compared with the rest of the world, we still pollute this very little time with such things that do not belong on a vacation. Do yourself a favor and next time you take some time off, do not use your phone or a computer. Only then can you truly take full advantage of your time off.
You have to learn to put yourself first. This is why taking adequate time away from your routine is so crucial. Most people do not meditate or relax in any way throughout the whole year. So their vacation time is truly the last bastion of relaxation they have. Taking good care of your mental psyche includes having the initiative of giving yourself the proper time to relax and unwind. Clearing your mind is not only good for reducing all the stress that you accumulate during everyday life, but it is also useful in terms of taking a step back and re-assessing what you are doing and what direction you are undertaking.
I can tell you that a lot of creative ideas came to me while I was vacationing. Once you “take out the trash” mentally, and have a clean slate to think on, you will be amazed at the ideas and creativity that comes out. Usually, during your routine, you have so many things to think about that there is just simply no time nor room for out-of-the-box thinking. Looking from a different angle or perspective can really open your eyes to things you may have never thought about before.
Taking time off is also not just about quantity but quality. I’ve taken a week off that was not as relaxing as some simple evenings. This is why the activity that you do during your time off is very important. Like I said, make sure you disconnect completely and do something that is soothing and relaxing. A few hours of solid time off can make a huge difference. Being an entrepreneur and running a business, it can be hard to find a block of hours per day to simply focus on yourself. The same can be said with employees that work long hours. This is why you need to apply yourself mandatory time off on a regular basis so that you can recharge your batteries. Working around the clock may seem to be productive, but the consequences that it has on your state of mind are far greater than the added productivity it provided.
So a simple day off at a Spa can truly make a difference. Even a nice promenade in the park in the evening can help you separate your mind, body, and soul from the issues of daily life. Time off is what it is….time to switch “off” everything. Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, we are not robots. Sure, technology is nice. We can check emails on our cell phones regardless of where we are. We can work 24/7 via the Internet. But, it doesn’t mean that we have to. Make it a habit to include time away from work, bills, and all that stress within your own life, and watch how it will positively affect your level of happiness & success 😉