Most of us understand the benefits and value of taking time out. But sometimes we avoid taking time off because we’re too busy overachieving. So how can you make that holiday a priority?
Firstly, you need to establish what your intention is. In other words, you’re not just going on a holiday for the sake of it. Once you’re clear about this, you can start applying the following to make it happen:
1. Make a holiday your number one priority
We often think, wish or talk about holidaying at one of our dream destinations. But maybe you are finding reasons not to go. That’s because the choices and decisions we make in life are based on our priorities at any given time. For instance, you could have written out all the pros and cons when looking to make a decision about something and you might have 30 disadvantages and only one advantage listed. Despite all the reasons not to do something, that one pro could be the single thing that is your top priority. If you really want something badly enough and strongly believe in it, then you’ll end up doing it. However, if a holiday is seen as a kind of sub-priority or something that you would like to do, then you will never do it because you’ve got all these other priorities keeping you busy.
2. Improve your time management
When it comes to effective time management, you really need to assess your priorities to see if they are an accurate view of your life. That is, are you perceiving your best interests at that particular time? Generally speaking, we aren’t. Instead, we are acting out based on whatever knowledge or information we have at any given time, including what we see as the payoff. For example, if your self-worth is wrapped up in your business success and achievements (even if it’s seeking approval from others at a subconscious level), then that’s where your priorities lie. So in order to take a break, you’ll either be working towards having a holiday that you truly desire, or you’ll inevitably burn out and be forced to have one in a way you didn’t want. In terms of practical time management, both in a day-to-day context and in the lead up to your holiday, look at what’s most important to do each day and do them. Plus, always knock off the things you don’t want to do straight away. Also, if you deal directly with clients, customers or suppliers, make sure you give them sufficient notice about your upcoming time away; four to six weeks in advance is usually best. What’s more, make sure all accounts and invoices are settled on time, especially if you work for yourself. Once that’s done, don’t work for work’s sake.
3. Adopt the right view towards a holiday
Basically, the right view to having a holiday is to use it as a means to learn, grow, evolve and embrace self-development. Otherwise you can come back from a holiday more tired than when you left because you haven’t necessarily got an accurate view on why you are having one. What’s more, if you take the word holiday and break it in two, its traditional origins literally mean holy day. Since holy is about respite from world affairs, a holiday can give you a different perspective on your life so that you see it from an objective point of view. As the key to a healthy, balanced and rewarding life is to practise mindfulness, you might like to include some journaling and meditation in your free time. Of course, the benefit of having a break is that you have the time to educate yourself about these things in order to have a more fulfilled life. Based on what you glean from your holiday means that you will potentially do things differently when you return to your world. With more wisdom, you will be able to make better decisions, which is the foundation for better results in your life. If not, you will just go back to the same old cycles of human behaviour and conditioning that you are accustomed to.
4. Obtain restful awareness
The other thing to be aware of is that some of us work, often in overdrive, from the sympathetic nervous system, which is where our adrenalin, stress and anxiety reside. That’s where we are always pumped up, plus it’s essentially responsible for the flight or fight response. But then there’s the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the calmer, restful side of us. It’s the part of the nervous system that allows us to relax, reflect and be serene, which in turn helps us to make better and clearer decisions. The important thing is to move from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic so that we are in restful awareness. As it generally takes 21 days to rewire the brain and create new neurological pathways, that’s why a reasonable amount of time away – at least a month – is a great opportunity to replace any old beliefs that aren’t working with positive new thoughts. By doing this, not only will you become more productive, you will also have a new lease on life.
Are you struggling to take time off?
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