Stop Feeling Guilty About Taking Time Off From Your Business

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Do you feel GUILTY when you go on vacation?

I just got back from a 5 day trip. Generally when I’m on vacation, I check email, stay in touch with my team, and worry about the fact that I’m NOT at my desk. I guess I feel like I should be working all the time if I’m a “serious” entrepreneur. No idea why I feel that way because it’s really just stupid. But that’s how I felt and that’s what I did. Until this time.

On this vacation, I turned off my phone and did not check email at all.

Not even once.

It was freaky how my hands just went to the phone on a regular basis – without even thinking about it. Just a reflex.  I had to physically stop myself from checking because I did it on impulse – not because I thought OHHHH, I’ll check my email now. My body just DID IT. And it weirds me out.

Because what’s the point of taking a vacation and NOT disconnecting from daily life? Give your brain a rest. 

Sure, I can tell myself that staring at mountains and sitting by the pool is still relaxing even if I’m working my phone. And sure, I can almost believe it. But after 5 days of staring at mountains and sitting by the pool WITHOUT my phone, I know that I was lying to myself. They are 2 completely different experiences. And I feel GREAT. Refreshed, relaxed, and excited to get back to work.

Because a vacation should be a VACATION. Without guilt. Without thinking you “should be doing something else”. Eff that.

WORK when you work.

DON’T WORK when you’re on vacation.

Just unplug and give your mind and body the break you deserve. This is not a new concept and I’m not sure why it took me so long to figure it out and actually BELIEVE it makes a difference. It does. I’ll be a helluva lot better worker now that I had a break.

So tell me this…when was the last time you TRULY unplugged? How did it feel? When’s the next time you’ll do it?

Leave me a comment below – I can’t wait to read what you say.




4 Responses

  1. Hi Jane- I can relate to your story as I feel I never unplug. I have had many family vacations literally walking around the pool my son was in, taking a work call. Or always checking emails on vacation. Getting more work-life balance is something recently I have been realizing I need to learn how to do! I am working on setting some work- life balance “boundaries” or goals if you will!!

    1. Jackie,
      I get it. I hear an interview with Jewel the other day and she said she strives for “harmony” rather than work-life balance. I thought it was so interesting as she explained it like branches of a tree – your spiritual branch, work, family, sexuality, learning… All the branches want to be strong and in harmony. If one branch (WORK…) is all built up and strong and the others are wilt-y, we are not in harmony.

      I liked her description because it’s clear there will never really be “balance” but rather to focus on keeping all aspects of the tree strong in order to be a happy and powerful tree.

      Anyway, that helps me and I hope it helps you too!

  2. I just booked myself a Mexican vacation for my birthday at the end of May. I can’t wait to not have access to LTE, IG, the internet, my email, all the technology things. I need it…like yesterday.

    Leaving the country is really the only way I can unplug, so I totally relate to this. I used to feel so guilty when I wasn’t working all the time, but I realized I needed to prioritize my health first, then my relationships, then my business. I can’t make the business work without the first two.

    Good for you, and I can’t wait to show off my tan in June to the SMPO group!

    1. Yesssssssss!!! I totally agree that international trips are best for un-plugging. LOVE what you are saying – health, relationships, business. Like a 3-legged stool. You gotta have all three for it to work.

      Proud of you!

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