When we do what we love, we tend to blur the line between work and play. So much so that our work consumes us. We don’t even notice because this is what we love to do. Days, weeks, months of non stop work takes its toll on us. From the quality of our work, to our own well being, burn out from work can have very serious effects. This is why we disconnect. Without any guilty conscious, we need to unplug from the world and come later from it all feeling greatly refreshed. It is very important that we take vacations.
Disconnecting from everything
If you are anything like me, you wake up, check emails, go on social medias, get to work, stare at a screen for 8 hours, get back home and finish the day off with more screen related activities. Basically all day we stare at a screen of lit pixels. This is why we need to carve out a space in which we disconnect and get away from the 24 hour glowing screen. This is why I love traveling outside of the country. Since I only have my local phone plan, I can’t make calls or go on the internet. Well, besides the extremely slow hotel internet that I use to connect with family so that they know I am alive. I along with the people I travel with are forced to disconnect and enjoy the trip. No texting while eating, no hash-tagging in the middle of conversations, and when we get lost, no Siri to guide us. It’s amazing how many excuses we find to connect. Going to another country is key when disconnecting from it all.
Don’t feel guilty
For the past 10 weeks I have been publishing articles on this blog consistently every Sunday. Last week I did not. Last week I didn’t do any work what so ever. I took a vacation. At first I felt absolutely miserable. I felt guilty for not preparing an article for the week I was going to be gone. To take this vacation I had to make sure I left all my work at a good stopping point, and writing didn’t make the cut. Just before I left my house to the airport, I grabbed my laptop, and packed it in my carry on. I figured, I’ll write something on the plane, take photos where I am at, and publish the article no problem. When I got on the plane, I knocked out. Waking up 4 hours later to the realization that I had slept for the entire duration of the flight, was my body’s way of telling me that I needed this break. I decided not to write anything, and I wasn’t going to make myself feel guilty. We need these breaks. Physically, mentally, and if you want to take it there, even spiritually. When we come back, the work will be right there where we left it, ready to get picked back up. The only difference is that we are refreshed and ready to tackle it.
Come back completely refreshed
Vacations help us disconnect from everything with no guilt, which in turn, allows us to come back completely refreshed. We can’t solve problems if we are always staring at them, we can’t come up with new materials if we are always consumed in the old ones, and we can’t keep motivated if we are always seeing the same things. These breaks help re-spark perspectives, inspiration, and motivation by taking us away completely from what consumes us on the daily basis. When we take a trip and come back to old problems, we look at things in a new light. When I left on my vacation last week, I was stressed. I was running around making sure everything was okay for me to be gone. In doing this I wasn’t even able to write an article. So now on top of stressed you can add guilt. Feeling stressed and guilty, I got on the plane and just collapsed into my seat, I was also tired. Stressed, guilty, and tired is not how great content is made. Like I mentioned above, I decided not to write anything. However, when I got back from my trip, the very next day I came up with this topic. With a well rested mind, I was able to write this article with absolutely no problem. I had disconnected, I had no guilt, and I was refreshed. This is important to do, we think we are getting so much done because we work all the time, but in reality this just hurts us and the quality of our work.
How long has it been since you’ve taken a vacation? Where have you been dying to go? What’s keeping you from taking that trip?