Do you take time out?

We’ve just been on holiday in the Lake District. We went to the same cottage we stayed in last year (because it was SO good, read this post from last year) and had a fantastic time visiting great places. Highlights for me were Beatrix Potter World as well as Holker Hall and Levens Hall which both have fabulous gardens. I can’t keep a plant alive but I love a good garden.

Our daughter is 5 so she was loving everything. She loved going on a boat – something she’d not done before – and on the steam trains and running around at any given opportunity. Our son was 7 weeks old  and slept through most of the holiday. He missed out on everything we did! Except the car journeys which he mainly cried through…

How awful to be in really interesting places and miss out completely!

There was a discussion in a Facebook group I’m in today about taking time out. Having holidays. It was based around this article from The Telegraph.

I am currently on maternity leave and enjoying lots of time off (I’m actually not sure how I had time to work as much!) Over December and January I worked incredibly hard in my business. I was working late at night and early in the morning. My daughter was at after-school club (which thankfully she loves) way more than I wanted her to be. I was working so hard because I knew I’d be taking time out for maternity leave and I wanted to make sure that I wouldn’t be worrying about money whilst I’m not working. Working so hard was definitely worth it then, but now that I am working so much less I’m able to sit back and think about my business and I’m definitely seeing things differently. 

Home time

Home time

Maternity leave is a bit like having a holiday at home – but with less sleep and more bouncing. (Bouncing is just about the only thing that helps our little boy cheer up when he’s crying). I did think, before I had him that I’d not take a lot of time out. I’d use up my Keep-In-Touch days in a block and then come back, but because Angela is doing my emails and I have someone finishing some projects for me I am now enjoying delegating. This has made me re-evaluate the jobs I’d like to take on in the future. Time off is definitely possible and totally worth it. Last year I said I’d only have a weeks family holiday. Now I’d happily go for longer because I know everything will be OK.

The Telegraph Article lists eight reasons why you should take a break. Here they are with my comments:

1 Delegate Tasks.

This is great! All those things you don’t want to do/ don’t have time to do – gone. Someone else can do those. Bam. No more replying to emails or tweaking things, no more chasing for money or creating invoices. Whatever it is – you can ditch it and stick to the really fun stuff!

2 Change your view

Stepping back can help you see areas for improvement, ideas to action, new ways to work. If you’re always in the centre of something you can’t always see the bigger picture. A new perspective and a bit of space can be really helpful. When you get back you’ll be able to set some goals and make things happen.

3 Emergency planning

See point 1? That. When things go wrong you’ll already have a tried and tested back up plan in place and it’ll be really easy to implement. Do you know what you’d do if you broke both wrists and had a deadline to meet?

4 Relax

You’re pretty important right? You are. Honest. So make sure you look after yourself. It’s not good if you’re working so hard that you get ill. It’s worth taking some time out for your own health. And because your family would probably like to see you in daylight hours too. Working hard, burning the candle at both ends, forgetting what’s important to you (WHY you’re working) isn’t going to help you feel great.

5 Have a good time even when it’s not a good time

This is true. Unless you’re Father Christmas holidaying in February or the Easter Bunny jetting off in April, there’s not going to be a good time. There will always be something happening. There will always be people who need you. Heck, it could be the week you get the biggest order ever – you just don’t know. Get something booked and then it HAS to happen whether you’re about to supply the Queen or not. You’ll just have to be prepared. See point 1!

6 Look after you

See point 4. Now go and eat an apple and jog up and down the stairs 5 times. Looking after you is really important. All year round, not just the week you leave the office.

7 Holidays aren’t just for you

If you employ people then make sure they don’t feel guilty asking for a holiday. They’ve earned it. They need time out too for the same reasons as yourself.

8 Take it seriously

Constantly checking your phone for emails when you’re meant to be feeding the ducks or appreciating the view isn’t going to earn you brownie points with your fellow holiday makers. Nor is it going to help you relax and get into holiday mode. Do what you have to do – leave your phone at home or put your partner in charge of it if you have no will power – but make sure you spend the holiday with your mind there and not at work. The world won’t end. I promise (see point 1!)

 

Do you take time out?

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