When I formally started my business January 2011, I was
- working all hours of the day and night,
- serving on the board for a performing arts organization,
- cooking meals at women’s shelters
- and making time for my parents and large extended family.
I was going from one thing to the next without taking a minute to catch my breath…it was grueling.
Within the first three months, the crazy pace had taken its toll: my creativity was shot, I began missing important deadlines and couldn’t shake a nasty cough. I vowed to work chill time back into her life.
Since then, even with starting new fulltime job and continuing with my business, I have booked weekly dates with myself, whether it’s lunch at my favorite diner or an art gallery opening.
During these outings I try to block out worries about work, due dates or the laundry piling up, I concentrate instead on the brushstrokes of a painting or the people walking by. When I return to either of my offices, I’m less stressed and ready to focus. Taking these nano-vacations allow me to rejuvenate, if only for a little while.
Consider these nano-vacation tips to keep you going:
• Write it down.
I schedule my nano-vacation during my Monday morning planning hour. I add it to my Google calendar just as I would an appointment with a client. If I don’t, it’s too easy to put off and forget.
• Be creative.
During super-hectic weeks, I schedule 30 minutes when I turn off all of my buzzing, beeping and ringing gadgets and I read a favorite magazine cover to cover. If I have an appointment out of the office, I’ll block out extra time to drive the long way home through my favorite park, pull over and breathe in the fresh air.
• Protect it.
If I have to respond to a client, I will cancel my nano-vacation, but I always reschedule it right away.
It’s not just okay to give yourself a break, it might just improve your productivity overall, helping you get more done in less time.
Photo Courtesy of Flickr User: Mohammadali f.
Shannon Mouton is a marketing strategist with 20 years of relationship marketing, community building, event management and outreach experience. Her professional blog, Shannon’s blog about marketing, public relations, social technology, entrepreneurship and other things, explores the business world, and her personal blog, Shannon Sez So, examines life’s joys, pains and idiosyncrasies.
She also contributes to Gridiron Gals, as a die-hard fan of the Washington Redskins. Shannon serves on the boards of directors for The George Washington University Alumni Association and the In Series, a performing arts organization in Washington, DC. She also regularly volunteers at Calvary Women’s Services.