Image: my 2 daughters enjoying a pedal powered roundabout on holiday
The Goat is an awesome animal. But it needs food, drink and occasional play & relaxation to keep it performing at it’s best…
It’s been over 2 years since I had more than a day off work. In that time a second daughter has graced the planet with her arrival, I’ve launched stolen goat and jacked in my “sensible” job. These things don’t leave much spare time or finances for frolicking off on a vacation.
As much as I’m loving life right now, it’s been a hard graft and the family has been pushed to it’s limit at times so a holiday was in order.
In the run up to the holiday I was stressing about getting everything in place so that the business could continue to function without me being there to hold its hand. As each day before the trip disappeared, the holiday that I booked many moons ago seemed an increasingly ridiculous idea…
There is a lot going on behind the scenes at stolen goat right now so quite why I picked this moment to go away I’m not sure. But I’ve now returned, the business has been functioning nicely and the World hasn’t ended.
If you are self employed, freelance or you run your own company you will know that it is incredibly hard to force yourself to take some down time. The fear of losing momentum, having a mountain of things to catch up on when you return and of course the financial implications can be daunting.
I can honestly say that getting away for a week or two is far more valuable than the money it costs. It has lifted me in so many ways and here are a few reasons why you need to do the same…
1 . Time to think
I consider myself to be a creative individual. I have ideas, some are awful, some are good and some are great. But the fact is that when you are so wrapped up in the day-to-day it becomes increasingly challenging to conjure up new ideas. Some companies have “innovation time” – an allocated time to be creative. That’s great but there is nothing that saps your creative juices more than being told to create something between 2pm and 4pm on Tuesday afternoon.
If you want to create something new, you need to escape the norm. Take a walk, ride a bike, read a book (not an educational one), sit on a beach, play with your kids. Do these things. But not just for an hour or so in between meetings.
This is when your brain has time to unravel and pick up other random tracks that it usually doesn’t have time for.
Whilst I was away I had some of the best ideas I’ve ever had, and I wasn’t trying to think of new ideas. A lot of these ideas are of course stolen goat related and will directly improve our service and offering.
2. Time to recover
You work hard.
You cycle, run, swim, climb, train, sweat, break your muscles. This is fun but sometimes you need to take a break. When you stop for at least 4 days your body has time to recover. And it becomes strong again. It’s a wondrous thing. But make no mistake – if you never recover properly your training is going to waste.
3. Move mountains
It’s crazy but there is nothing quite like an impending holiday to make you get your rear end into gear and tie up all those loose ends before you go away. It’s like you’ve created a hard deadline that you simply have to meet.
I read an article by a very successful entrepreneur who books out 10 weeks of holiday at the start of the year. It’s his way of making sure he gets things done!
4. You are a human not a robot…
It’s not a chirpy thought, but the fact is you are a human and as such you only have a limited time to explore the planet. There are things you need to see and places you need to discover and food you need to try. Don’t wait until you are too old to enjoy it properly.
5. Family & Friendships
There is no better bonding experience than travelling with your family & friends. Ultimately – these are the fun things in life. Even if you love your work, as I do… if you neglect your friends & family then the fruits of your labour are pointless. Simple as that.
Not only that, but it’s much easier for your family to accept the late finishes in the office and the overtime and so on if there is a holiday just around the corner.
If you’re skint then this may seem pie in the sky, but it’s important. If you really can’t afford to go far afield then try a camping trip or even a “stay-cation”. But make sure you put the laptop down and escape the 9-5.
Your family and friends will love you for it, your body will be stronger and happier and your brain will have creative juices flowing on tap.