When my husband and I were planning our wedding we considered going on a cruise for our honeymoon. We also really wanted to buy a house so we saved our money and used it for a down payment on our first home. I don’t regret that decision but 12 years later we still haven’t gone on a cruise. We did talk about going on a cruise on our 10 year anniversary, but we had a two-year-old at the time so that wasn’t happening.
A few months ago my two sisters in law went on a 14 day cruise to Hawaii. When they returned saw all their pictures and heard the stories of their trip of a lifetime.
That was enough for my husband. Within a week’s time we were booked on a cruise.
So what does this have to do with your business? It is important to relate to you the feeling I had once I knew that cruise was booked. Even though it is five months away I think about it every day and get excited about spending a whole week on a cruise ship with my husband. There are days in business when everything seems to go just right, clients are thrilled, and somehow you manage to catch up on your to do list. Then, there are those other days. You know the ones I’m talking about. It is extremely important during those days that you know you have a vacation scheduled.
What is it about a vacation? Is it the actual time we spend doing the activities we look forward to? Or is it the anticipation of the vacation? I submit to you that planning vacations is a lot like the anticipation that builds up before the holiday season. The excitement, the shopping, are all part of the experience of the holiday season. Christmas is only a 24 hour period. But look at all we do in anticipation of that one day! It’s an experience in itself.
I think we all know that it is important to take vacations to rest and get a break from hard work. But I think knowing that a vacation is planned is just as important to the business owner during those days when things just aren’t going right. Somehow you can get through a tough week knowing that you’re about to get a break. Without that knowledge it is easy to get burned out.
Even if you don’t make plans to go anywhere, once in a while schedule yourself a working vacation. One whole week when you concentrate on getting caught up, doing some research, and maybe a little planning and marketing. Don’t set any appointments for that week, and set a vacation reminder on your email. Uninterrupted work time is extremely productive and reduces your stress level immensely.
So go ahead and Photoshop pictures of your bare feet on some Caribbean beach and post them on Facebook that whole week. No one will know the difference and you will come back just as refreshed as if you had been there for real.