The Rewards of Taking Time to Unplug and Reset
I recently took a couple of weeks off to visit good friends who live in Florida. How very much I needed that opportunity to uplug and reset!
Taking time off and getting away periodically – at least once a year – has always been important to me, as is the flexibility that running a company can afford. It took a lot of upfront planning to determine how I was going to truly unplug during my time away. With that planning, and the help of my assistant who could field unforeseen client needs, I’m happy to report that I didn’t open my computer for eleven days. It’s the longest time I’ve been unplugged for years!
I enjoy unplugging for shorter spurts of time throughout the rest of the year when playing golf and connecting with people. This longer respite took me to the beach – one of my favorite places on earth – to read, think, and sometimes just let my mind flow – not thinking about anything in particular. The hypnotic rhythm of the waves resets my own rhythm to a slower mental pace, an emotional calm that seems to make problems go away. The warmth of the air and water and vastness of the ocean are soothing and therapeutic. I find joy in the simplicity of walking, looking for shells and people watching, and wonder in the elements of ocean life. An environment in which there’s a close connection to nature is conducive to reflection. I had an opportunity during this time to reflect on my life – not only where I’ve been, but what I want the next several years to look like. Have I achieved what I thought I’d achieve? Am I living my life the way I want to?
From this reflection grew an awareness of definite actions I want to take to improve my life, my business, and the balance between the two. This awareness has turned into some specific next steps I’m working on, now that I’ve returned from my break. I’ve relearned that by taking time to reflect, and live what is important to me, I have more to offer my family, friends and clients and am more empowered to be there for them. My work becomes more thoughtful and strategic, and my time more productive and focused.
The plans I have for myself and the excitement of taking steps to improve my life are my treasure from the sea, and would not be coming to fruition had I not stopped, unplugged, and taken time to reflect and reset. Time off – time for ourselves – is a reward, yes, but not a selfish act. It’s a necessity to periodically refresh and regenerate our spirits and our authenticity – the wellsprings of our purpose.
I always have my next time off on my calendar. It’s something to look forward to and I’m making sure that taking care of myself and my life is a priority. I also plan to share this with my clients and circle of trusted advisors: Take time to unplug, to reset, to keep your life on track and live it so that you love it. Don’t tell yourself that “someday” you’ll take time to reflect, to slow down a little. Plan it into your life, put it on your calendar and commit to it. I’m already planning my next reset!