Taking breaks and maintaining work-life balance is essential to longevity. Taking time offs from the rigid and exhausting daily grind refreshes the body, mind, and spirit. Vacations, thoughtful me-times, and time spent on doing things we love replenish not just for physical and mental well-being, but also our drive and determination.
Do you have any vacation plans in the immediate future? If you do, good for you!
Unfortunately, it is common for startup entrepreneurs and business leaders to forego vacations. Instead of taking time offs, they would rather stick around and work, work, work. For them, vacations and holidays are too much of a time wasted. And there is always too much work that needs to be done, and too little time to finish everything.
I used to not afford taking vacations too. I love the business and my work, and taking vacations will only leave me thinking about work and worrying about the things to do. So, I spent all my time growing the business and working harder to reach my goals faster. Until burnout got me.
I thought I was taking the toll and stress in stride. I thought I was managing well. Mentally, I was fine. Although waking up became a little too hard, the days a little too long, and the struggle sometimes overwhelming, I attributed them all to the growing business. Physically, not so much. I was getting sick a lot more often, my energy was down, and I was eating poorly.
My social life also took a hit. My friends and network suddenly went down to just my business associates, my customers, and my employees. I’ve lost contact with my school friends, my childhood friends, and I don’t even know the names of my new neighbors.
This is not the life I wanted. There must be more to life than just my work, the company, and my business. Suddenly, I feel trapped. My mind is strong and determined, but my body and spirit are failing me. I can’t concentrate or feel joy in my accomplishments. I was no longer happy.
So, I worked hard to regain life I want. One small step at a time, I started going out of the cocoon I built for myself – my work and business. I started with delegating tasks and going home earlier. People in the company are happy to become more involved. I make sure that I only work with the best people, so I can be assured of entrusting the job to capable hands.
Then, I started taking one day off work every week. That’s 24 hours of not doing anything work-related. I liked it. I was always excited and cheerful going to work after my day off. I become more focused and was able to accomplish more.
Now, I’m taking two days off every week. I also schedule at least two long vacations a year. I spend those travelling, spending more time with my family, and enriching myself with experiences and life’s lessons. Sometimes I would get lazy and just stay home, and read or sleep a lot. And that’s fine with me too.
Plan your vacation now. Even when you can’t afford to take it, just yet. Planning a vacation, searching for places to visit, scheduling your itinerary, and thinking of the food, sights, and experiences to enjoy can already make a profound effect on you. I will make you feel lighter, happier, and excited. It will not be like the real thing, but at the least, planning a vacation will take away some of the stress and pressure of the daily grind.