We all need something positive to look forward to. Whether it be a date night with your love, a planned adventure with friends or even a mid-winter holiday, having a focus point can really help your self-esteem, motivation and general outlook on the world. For the past six months on my radar has been a family holiday with all of our immediate tribe. It took a lot of planning and a couple of false starts to get our diaries aligned but once everything was locked and loaded knowing we were all going to be together on holiday created a great sense of excitement.
For my family a week away was a chance to reconnect and catch up. We all live in different cities and some in different countries so it was a real treat to be together. It was very chilled and lots of time spent just hanging out. It helped that we had three little babes on tour to slow us down and we filled our days with just enough. We loved simply being together. My brother who works as a surgeon said how nice it was to have a break from his regimented schedule and to be able to re-set.
We all lead busy lives and no matter how busy you are; everyone needs time out. To be able to turn it ‘on’ fully means you need to be able to turn it ‘off’ fully to be at your full capacity and oozing productivity. Working long hours combined with home commitments is exhausting and unstainable for long periods of time. Time away from work and normal home routine provides perspective and an opportunity to re-connect. Time out allows you to de-compress and de-stress. So it’s important that time out is actually time out and not just a working holiday to allow you to get the full benefits of your break. Get that out of office on and don’t look back!
It’s also important to note that time out doesn’t not mean blow the budget. Some of the best holidays I’ve had have been the cheapest. Crashing at a friend’s bach close by and cooking your own meals is not too far removed from your normal weekly expenses. Fortunately, my older brother loves cooking so we were well looked after by our chef and it meant we could utlitise the kitchen facilities we had without the expense of dining out.
Nowadays there are loads of options in terms of house swaps, variances in accommodation costs (if you haven’t tried Air BnB it’s a must) and always be on the lookout for a good airline sale if you intend to travel by air. It doesn’t have to cost you an arm or a leg. If you do want to have a bit more luxury than a DoC Hutt there is something about saving up for a holiday that creates an air of anticipation leading into a break.
Holidays have been said to increase work productivity as well. Richard Branson in 2014 announced that he would introduce an unlimited holiday policy for 170 of his employees. Branson cited an increased level of productivity as a result of employees feeling respected. The assumption is that their work and their teams work is up to date but the unlimited leave creates a great work culture in that employees feel valued and value their work environment.
The key is to keep putting those focus time out points in your life. Those re-set days (fingers crossed a week or more) to allow yourself to recharge, get energized and feel like your best self. The daily grind gets that much harder when you don’t have a full stop in a very long sentence. You need to look after yourself and spend time with your people to create energy and inspiration. I can’t wait til out next family big holiday but in the meantime I’m locking in a break in the not too distant future to get those holiday benefits again!