Sunday, 27 December 2015

It's OK to take Time Out when you know how!

Taking time out is very important.

Unplugging from the world, or just taking some time away from the office, especially at a time like Christmas, is something that, although we should/ need do...many find it difficult if not impossible.

As I write this, I am at 3000ft in Piz Gloria, the mountain top revolving restaurant in Switzerland that was used as Blofeld's base in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.  It is the sixth Christmas I have spent here in Switzerland and as I sit in the restaurant looking out over the mountains I have received an email from my friend Cynthia Bazin.  Her latest blogpost is called 7 things you must be committed to for success. Read it here.

How many people are saying to themselves 'But, it is still Christmas' or 'But, it is Sunday!'.  Guess what? It is still Christmas and still Sunday for Cynthia too. And for me, and thousands of others who 'get it'.  I don't work for a living.  I bet if you asked her, Cynthia doesn't consider what she does to be work either.  We are focused, we are responsible, we are committed...it's just that we don't consider it to be work in the old, 'normal' sense of the word 'work'.

Having fun doesn't mean it is exclusive to work.  I have spent my life making sure that people have fun at work.  They spend most of their day at their place of work so why shouldn't it be fun?  When they start enjoying what they do it ceases to be work.

There are people here enjoying a holiday with friends and family.  Some people are not here because they cannot justify taking time off from work to have a life.  There are also people here, right now, who feel guilty about being here.  There really is no need.  We have the right to take time away from 'work' but if you enjoy what you do, it isn't work, it is fun, and you can do that anywhere.

We have to recharge our batteries.

"Our minds are like our iPhone.  It still works while it is recharging" 
~ Dave Moore...Tweet Me Tweet:

Taking time out is important as it gets us in touch with ourselves, our friends and family and what is truly precious: Life itself.

I travel a lot and spend a lot of time in airports and on planes, trains and in the back of cars.  I ALWAYS carry a notebook to write things down.  Things that happen, names of people, questions, comments and ideas and plans.  You NEVER KNOW when an idea will come to you, via yourself or someone else, but if you do not write it down in a notebook, or on something, you cannot guarantee remembering it.  So many things to remember bombard us all the time and it would be impossible to remember all of them.

Some of my best ideas have come while sitting in a restaurant, Skiing down a slope, lying in a hammock on a beach, sitting in a plane looking out of the window, relaxing on a boat or walking with friends through a forest or the streets of a city like London or Paris when inspiration struck,
I have been sitting in the theatre, watching a musical, a play, an opera or watching a movie when I solved an issue,  I was talking at a party when someone said something that made me see something else in a completely different way and gave me the start of the answer I had been seeking.

In all of those examples, if I had relied on memory, I wouldn't have done all the things I have.


I make notes on everything.  If not my trusty Moleskin Notebooks then I use what I can, napkin, menu, business card, even my hand.  On the wall of my office is a framed paper tablecloth from Piz Gloria that three years ago I mapped out the business plan and strategy for the new company.  One day it may be of great interest for people to see.  I look at it every day for inspiration.

So it IS possible to take a break from our business, our career, our 'work' with no guilt, shame or fear and enjoy life and everything that comes our way by doing two things:

  1. Carry a notebook or make notes on whatever you can find that comes to hand.  Never rely on your memory, write it down. Some of the best ideas come to you when you are doing something other than work.  You can sit at your desk in your office forever with no guarantee inspiration will come to you.
  2. Stop working, Have fun. Even when you are taking that well earned break you can remain focused and in touch so that your business will never suffer. 
In my life, I have found that having fun can be anything: Time with friends and family, going to a movie, travelling, having dinner, you name it.  When you include your 'work' in 'having fun' it becomes an extension of all that you do...so ENJOY YOURSELF!
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