Time Off

Have you ever felt like you just needed a break? Even if you love your work (I know I do!), sometimes ya need some time off.

Taking time off.

My family and I travelled to Japan mid-November, and I decided to take 10 days off. Ok, I admit I checked email twice while I was gone, but that was it. No work-related books, no brainstorming, nothing, nada. It was hard for a couple days, but then I got into it and really enjoyed myself. The result? I came back refreshed and renewed!

Do you need a break?

Have you ever needed a break from it all? Sometimes staying motivated and working productively means taking some time to NOT work, or even think about work. Julia Cameron (author of The Artist’s Way, The Right to Write) refers to something she calls an “Artist Date”. She explains it this way (bold is mine):

“Put simply, an Artist Date is a once-weekly solitary expedition to something festive that interests us. It can be a visit to a museum, an aquarium store, a yarn shop. It can be a concert, a movie, an exhibition on dinosaurs. The point is to go somewhere fascinating and to go there alone. …. Taking the time and care to restock our inner well makes writing (and life/work) a far easier proposition. We are no longer fishing in vain trying to hook images that are few and far between and elusive. Instead, we are fishing into an inner reservoir that is richly stocked, one teeming with images and ideas that are ready and waiting for us to hook them.”

– Julia Cameron, The Right to Write

There is this inner well that we draw upon for life and work. If we don’t take time to remember who we are, and what fulfills us, burnout is sure to happen. Been there, done that, not pretty. Staying motivated and on top of our game means taking some time away from it all.

We now interrupt this busy work schedule for a well deserved vacation.

Are you ready for some time-off? You might need time off if: you have a short fuse, you feel fatigued everyday, you feel a “weight” on your shoulders, you feel like you “never have time” to yourself or you “don’t get to do what I want to do”. You may also feel a lack of creativity and motivation. These can all be signs that it’s time to take a breather. That means different things for different people. For some, it means you sell all your earthly belongings and join an ashram (read Eat, Love, Pray for more on that). But, for most of us, it means doing something we enjoy on a lunch break or taking a vacation, and really taking it – without email or work.

Is it time for you to take some time off?

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