As I sit in LAX, with the last very average American coffee I’ll have to drink in a while (thankfully), I find myself reflecting on the last three weeks I have just taken completely off from running my two businesses.
Yes, you heard me right, no work. No laptop. No calls from colleagues and staff. No sneaky checking my emails. Nadda. In a world which values the ‘hustle’ of work, work and more work I feel like a bit of a rebel saying that!
No one could be more surprised about this than me. As a self-confessed workaholic and someone, who five years ago, would not be able to go for 5 minutes without checking my emails this has been a bit of a game changer for me. My thumb’s muscle memory took some getting used to not finding the email icon on my phone, let me tell you!
For the past three weeks I have completely submerged myself into the culture of California. I have visited the richest parts of LA to the heartbreakingly poorest. I have enjoyed luxury apartments, and stayed in questionable accommodation in the districts’ China Town.
I’ve eaten the most amazing foods, tried out every single burger on offer, and I’ve drunk some of the most horrible coffee to date! I even attended a Bernie Sanders political rally.
However, what I’ve also done is reflect.
Reflect on myself and my own personal growth. My passions and hopes for the future. Reflect on my business. My team and their progress. I’ve also reflected on how this trip has fuelled my inner entrepreuner. Something inside of me has been reignited. I can feel myself itching to get home to put all of the invaluable lessons I have learnt into practice.
Can you imagine turning off from your job or business for three whole weeks? I couldn’t either … but here I am!
If you’re facing overwhelm, stress, are run down or are within an inch of dropping one of the balls you’ve been juggling for so long, I’ve put together a little check list for how to take some time out with a 100% time off work holiday!
1. Leave your laptop at home!
Tell clients, staff and colleagues you are not contactable (assign one person the key contact who can make decisions around involving you if need be).
“Hide” your frequently used apps like Facebook. You will learn how much you regularly go to them.
3. Let go of guilt!
As business owners and passionate executives we can be a bit emotionally attached to our careers and companies, so start viewing your business objectively and be excited to take a step back, and look in from the outside.
Going away stress free (for both you and your team) takes effort. You can’t just leave on the day and expect it to all be smooth sailing. Make sure your staff are set before you leave and accountabilities are clear. Handover the essentials but don’t overdo it, things that can wait, can probably just wait.
5. And then just go.
You will be amazed by your change of perspective once you’re away, all those problems which seemed to be huge will feel like light years away, I promise you.
Jo Schneider is a CEO, serial entrepreneur, previous holder of Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year (SA) and has featured in BRW, The SMH, Sky News and The Age.
Connect with Jo here.