For all the articles we bookmark and fret over about this app and that secret hack for growing your business, there’s one technique that gets missed far too often.
Disconnect, leave the laptop at home, and physically leave your business for a few days (preferably a week) and get back some much needed rest, perspective, and clarity.
It’s easy when you’re an entrepreneur to make everything about your business, 100% of the time, but far too often we lose the forest for the trees right in front of us.
What are the late nights for, anyway?
Are you going in the right direction or are you off track?
Is the work you’re doing every day enjoyable?
These are the types of questions you can’t really focus on, marinate in, or determine when you’re busy working toward Inbox Zero and catching up on Slack and wondering if that email got the edits you requested.
So despite the voice in your ear saying you’re taking time off later, that you didn’t hit all your goals this year, that you can get it all done this weekend, I say again: Go away.
Unexpected Benefit #1 – you’ll see if your team can sink or swim
Leaving for a week isn’t long enough for your team to burn the business to the ground, and giving them some time and responsibility will let you evaluate if more training is needed. Set clear boundaries, ask for their support, and go.
Unexpected Benefit #2 – you might stop responding to updates like an addict
Please hear me and turn off your social media while you’re away. Be wherever you end up and ENJOY it. Stop turning a moment into a Periscope and thinking that every friend and follower needs to experience what you see, hear, and taste in real time. It’s okay to update when you’re back.
When you log out of social media, turn off notifications and just be. The first few days are the hardest. It’s okay, your detox period will be over soon. Keep enjoying the sunset with your eyes instead of with filters. Best of all, when you get back, you’re much less likely to get the little high that comes from social interaction.
Unexpected Benefit #3 – Perspective
I know this might be a surprise, but not everyone is an entrepreneur.
Meet people who work in restaurants, lead tours, fly the friendly skies, ski the mountain, raise their kids in a different country, and try to see the world through their eyes. It’s one of the reasons I tend to stay in hostels, B&Bs, and at AirBnb when I travel: you meet fascinating people.
Even better, travel with people who aren’t escaping their business and try on a new perspective.
Unexpected Benefit #4 – Remember what it was like to be well-rounded
Learn how to surf, take up skydiving, read a book that’s not about business, watch a movie in the middle of the day, linger over drinks, take silly pictures for yourself (not for a newsletter), and try things that are NOT in your zone of genius.
For me that means getting out of my comfort zone to try parasailing (I abhor heights) and going off the beaten path to find the perfect spot for a sunrise at the beach.
Unexpected Benefit #5 – Renewed enthusiasm about work
I don’t think you should get away for the business benefits, but there are some. Giving yourself a break can renew your excitement about the work that’s to be done and remind you why you love it. There are all kinds of studies that show the diminishing effect of working after so many hours and blah blah blah.
Mostly, your brain needs a break and a chance to focus on something new.
Give yourself and your business a little space.