Step away from the business!

I just returned from a therapeutic, week-long vacation in Los Angeles. We stayed in an oceanfront house in Malibu, dined in fabulous restaurants, did some sightseeing and hung out at the beach. It was a dream.

But getting there was a whole different story. I wonder if other business owners can relate to my situation.

business closedThere were so many details to take care of before I left … not only did I have to catch up on what I was behind on (because business owners are always, always behind, aren’t we?) , but I needed to work a week ahead on top of it.

I slept for a whole hour the night before we left for vacation. As I looked at the clock at 2 a.m., only a few hours before we were to leave to catch our plane, my mind was racing. I was sweating. And I thought, “I shouldn’t be taking a vacation right now.” With that, I had a revelation: “If there was ever a time that I should be taking a vacation, it’s right now.”  I needed to go. I was cooked!

With that, I decided to delegate a few small projects and just come to terms with the fact that I couldn’t finish everything. I shut off my computer and did some last-minute packing. I walked away from my business for six days  …  and I didn’t look back.

Boy, I’m glad I did. Getting away from my business for a week was long overdue and sorely needed. I came back with a fresh perspective, more patience and a new outlook. In my first few days back in the office, I was productive and focused, much more so than I was before I left for vacation.

When I returned, I revisited an article that Brad Farris wrote a couple of years ago called Try Not Getting Things Done, in which he described experiencing a similar situation. He suggested a way to sustain the re-energized feeling that business owners have after they take time off. He wrote, “When you get back from vacation, try to incorporate relaxation into your regular routine. When I get back from vacation, the temptation is to compensate for the time off by being twice as productive and working twice as much. The truth is, we need regular time off, each month. So grab your calendar now and mark some days in September, October and November when you will do no work; it might be just a Saturday here or a Sunday there. I know if I don’t block out my relaxation time, it won’t get done and I’ll end up working straight through until Christmas.”

Ok, I’ve scheduled my days off until the end of the year. We’ll see if consistent time off helps keep the momentum going!

Bridget Ingebrigtsen

Bridget Ingebrigtsen owns Write On Command, a company that provides writing and editing services to businesses and not-for-profits. Bridget describes her six-year stint as Anchor Advisors' writer/editor as being "mutually beneficial" -- she helps Anchor Advisors keep their written projects on track and Anchor Advisors helps her keep her business on track. When she's not running her business, Bridget is running after her four children, two dogs and the latest in entertainment news. Connect with Bridget on Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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