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Blog 220: How To Get More Time Off, Part 2 of 8

Updated: May 12, 2022

Do you ever get home from a vacation, and you feel burned out?

I don’t mean the obvious kind of burned out that comes from being away and having fun I’m talking about the burned-out that comes because you knew, the whole time you were away, that a world of misery and work was waiting for you, piled up and unruly when you get back.

Gross. No wonder people don’t take enough time off. This is exactly why we founded our community, to help each other suck more marrow out of life.

Let’s solve this too little vacation time issue right now.

Have you read blog 219? Go read that and for your trouble, you get to have a long weekend for the rest of your working life. You’re more than welcome.

In blog 219 I asked you then how many weeks of vacation you want to take off per year?

The only acceptable answer is at minimum, 7.

Recurring, scheduled mandatory vacation.

Ask your friends who have jobs and you’ll find that none of them (or far too few of them) take all their vacation time. They have weeks of unused vacation time stockpiled, some of them have to take time off this year or they’ll lose it. They almost complain about it.

It’s a sickness and it’s complicated and it is no different at companies like Netflix, Twitter and Virgin (to name a few) that have ‘take-em-as-you-need-em’ vacation policies. They report that their staff work too much, probably because nobody wants to look like they are abusing the system. As I said, it’s complicated because humans are complicated.

The only answer is to make time off mandatory. Like oil changes, and vegetables and drinking water you absolutely must unplug and recharge the machine. I suggest that every 7 weeks you take a week off.

Completely off. It’s good for you and your business.

How good are vacations for you?

According to science (which admittedly has become a bit of a ‘sometimes food’ for some people), this is what we know about the benefits of vacation by measuring people the week before and after a vacation:

  • Creativity went up 33%

  • Happiness levels rose 25%

  • Productivity went up 13%

Vacation isn’t just fun or an indulgence. Time off is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body and if you don’t get enough of it, you’re going to wear down, feel unhappy and your business will suffer.

Working too hard is bad for you and for profits. Figure. It. Out. This isn’t rocket surgery.

Being idle or being engrossed in something that brings you pure joy creates space and quiet.

Necessary conditions for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and experiencing out of the blue connections and inspiration.

Not working, paradoxically, is necessary to getting work done.

Your homework.

Look at the full year and figure out when you are going to take your 7 weeks of vacation and what you might do with it.

When are the predictable slower times for your business? When are things crazy? Don’t fight the tide, set yourself up to win. See you next Tuesday, or for some of you, in the community.

So far you have a new work week (blog 219) and seven weeks of vacation. Congratulations.

See you next week, we’re going to get a little more tactical for a blog or two so that we can be as effective while working as possible. A little secret coming your way that you’ll like.

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