In one of the final sections of our Publishize book, I list my 10 Keys to Success. Because I only briefly touch on them in the book, I'm expanding on them here. Here's number eight in the list: take vacations.
We have religiously taken a fall and spring vacation every year we've been in business. It's vital to get completely away from your business to clear your mind and restore your creativity. In fact, one would note, the idea for our business and massive lifestyle change came about while we were on vacation in Idyllwild, California.
You need vacation time to recharge your physical and mental batteries. Many people pay a lot of lip service to "work-life balance," but most people seem to think that they or their business is "different" and they absolutely have to be there monitoring everything 24x7.
The reality is that a week away will make your business better. It's a promise.
In fact, if your business is so dependent on you that you feel like you can't get away, it may be that you need to seriously reexamine your business, and possibly the priorities you have in your life. It's great to enjoy what you do, but you are not your work, and work should not be your life.
The other day I was walking in the woods and I thought about how often people say they "have" to do something. Generally, it relates to work, not the rest of their life. People often say, "I have to work late to get this project done." You rarely hear people say, "I have to make a healthy dinner to nourish my body." Or, "I have to go spend time hanging out with my family."
Many people are so obsessed with being busy that they actually aren't productive anymore. Taking time away from your job is vital to restoring your sanity and your perspective on what's really important. As a lovely side effect, you might even be more productive. Burned out, stressed out people aren't productive people.
Those burned out people who never take vacations also tend to be boring. A few years ago, a good friend essentially turned into such a workaholic that she had nothing else to talk about. When we met, we had long fun conversations about gardening, cooking, dogs, cats and yes, business. But over time she became so immersed in her work, it eliminated pretty much everything else going on in her life. Our conversations became dull and stilted. Our friendship ebbed away mostly because she and I both seemed to realize that I really wasn't interested in hearing about the less savory aspects of affiliate marketing to the exclusion of everything else.
If you're convinced that you won't turn into one of those dull, burned out, unhealthy, unproductive drones, here's another great reason to take a vacation: it's fun. Remember fun? Remember laughter?
If you haven't laughed in a long time, you're missing out on something important. Whenever James and I go on vacation, we reconnect and have a fantastic time just talking and being silly. We laugh. In fact, sometimes we laugh so hard we cry. Vacations are a special little slice out of your life that remind you that you are more than your work, and fun is good!
SPOC: Live Long and Publish!
The Self-Publishers Online Conference (aka SPOC) connects entrepreneurial authors with self-publishing resources. You'll learn how you can use a book to establish your expertise, build credibility, generate leads, and create information products that can skyrocket your business. These days, with fewer people being able to attend live publishing conferences (and some conferences even being cancelled or curtailed), SPOC is a a great low-cost opportunity for "book people" to connect and learn more about the business of publishing. You can register for FREE (or opt for paid options as well that offer more benefits and goodies). You have nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain!