I have a tendency to always feel like I should be doing something…at all times.
“Isn’t there an email I can write back to?”
“I must have an article I’ve been meaning to read around here somewhere.”
“Oh I’ll just straighten up my desk a bit — I have a few minutes.”
This is the ongoing dialogue in my head most days.
Even on vacation.
I recently went to Puerto Rico with my hubby for some much-needed rest and relaxation. I’d been having a bit of an overload beforehand and feeling like I needed to cut myself off from networking and being a social butterfly. So it came at the perfect time. We visited the resort where we got married almost 7 years ago so it was nice to be back in a place we hold so close to our hearts.
Typically I’d be in a bit of an anxious mode thinking I’m wasting time laying on the beach (I know, it’s kind of crazy) and not writing blog posts, guest posts for websites or brainstorming something!
I think this is a problem a lot of entrepreneurs and busy professionals face. Just because we have a few “free” minutes — we think we have to fill that time with “something.”
I learned on vacation — that’s simply not true though.
Here are a few of the insights I learned over a few Pina Coladas and 85 degree days in the sun:
- It’s OK to think about nothing sometimes. Wow — this was a tough one of me to grasp. Our first day on the beach I started to revert to my usually panicked I’m not doing anything ways. But I stopped and gave myself permission to clear my mind and not plan anything out, write a post in my head, think up a new course idea or anything else. I just relaxed. And it was amazing and rejuvenating.
- Airplane mode will set you free. My cell phone worked just fine in Puerto Rico but I needed to disconnect. I put my phone on Airplane Mode and only checked it a few times throughout the day to check in. I didn’t constantly flip through Facebook, Twitter, Email, Instagram, etc like I normally would every few minutes (literally!) Instead of mindlessly staring at the phone – I was very purposeful about my intentions. I wanted to take a look — scroll through a bit and get back to my life on the beach. I’m going to try this tactic when I get back to work on Monday to see how it goes.
- Not every minute has to be filled with a “to-do.” On our last morning in paradise we sat on our balcony overlooking the spot where the Caribbean sea and the Atlantic Ocean come together. I thought to myself “oh let me check Facebook a minute to see what I’ve been missing.” But then I stopped myself. I thought — there will always be time for Facebook. I’m sitting in a gorgeous location with the sun shining down and the warm breeze blowing palm trees right in front of me. Sometimes you need to switch off “autopilot” and just enjoy the moment. I’m going to try do just that this week when I’m back at work. Instead of jumping from task to task, I’ll stop and look around every so often. What a concept!