Happy Wednesday! We were off last week to go to Nantucket & Maine with some amazing friends, and I have to say that it was SO good for us! As business owners, we all “know” that taking time away is absolutely essential to not burning out and coming back so much more productive….but it’s hard to actually wrap our heads around that isn’t it? When you’re in the heat of busy season and the to-do list seems to be ever growing….the last thing it feels like you can think about is taking time off! But in those times, rest & stepping away for a little bit can actually be the MOST important thing you can do. That’s because the to-do list will always be there, but how productive we are at tackling it is directly related to how refreshed & focused we feel. Here are the 3 Biggest Benefits to Taking Time Away that we noticed from our trip last week!
1. Your Stress Levels Go Down. I don’t know about you guys, but when I’m working too hard for too long then even the smallest thing becomes the biggest stress out. There is a reason that a single straw can break a camel’s back. Not because of the weight of that one small little thing, but because of all the things that have been piled on underneath it. The weight of each one just gets added until even small things seem like too much to carry. Think of your time away like laying down that heavy load for a while. You get a chance to rest, and even more importantly fresh eyes for what you want to pick back up when you come back and what should be left to the side.
2. You Remember What You’re Doing This For. Chances are, you started working for yourself in the first place because you wanted the freedom & flexibility it would bring. Like we’ve said for years, we set out to make not just a living but a LIFE doing this thing that we love. But without doing things that allow you to live in that freedom, pretty soon you become accustomed to a day to day monotony of just- as Rihanna would put it- werk, werk, werk, werk, werk. Getting out and having an adventure, having no set time or agenda, and y’know driving four hours to Maine on a whim just to get ice cream reminds you of the crazy, amazing, un-ordinary life you set out to create in the first place!
3. Your Business Grows. No, really. As counter-intuitive as it seems, some of our BEST business ideas come to us when we’re not sitting in front of a computer working on our business. Here, I can prove it to you. Have you ever noticed that some of your best ideas come to you when you’re in the shower? Well it turns out there’s a science to that. Besides removing the distractions of email, Facebook, and being plugged in and dinging ALL the time, studies also show that when you relax the different, creative parts of your brain light up. So now picture a vacation that you take in the middle of busy season, like one gigantic shower (or something more articulate than that! :) It’s an extended period of rest, relaxation, fun & play that allows the most creative, problem solving parts of your brain to fire like crazy. And we saw that play out. BIG TIME! In fact, while we were sitting in the pool at our hotel in Maine, we had a business idea come to us that I think is going to be a TOTAL game changer for everything for us over the next year. Definitely our BIGGEST idea we’ve ever had. And the crazy part is, all the parts were already there right in front of us. We just hadn’t been able to connect the dots before because we were too close to the situation. We just needed a little distance and a little play to let our creative brains really see the possibilities.
So if you’re sitting here with a week left in August feeling Summer slip by, close your laptop. Go to the beach with a good book. Spend time playing with your kids. Walk away for a little while from the problems & to-do’s in your business…and just see if you don’t come back with a new clarity, focus, and plan of attack for how to get things DONE that has been missing all Summer.
And if that doesn’t work, just hit the showers! :) Because…science!