Micro-vacation : A mentor’s advice by Elizabeth Verwey

Mentor advice:  Micro-vacation by Elizabeth Verwey

I’ve discovered a way to re-fill my cup that I want to share with you. I’m going to tell you about the power of micro-vacations. They’re short (under 24 hours), they’re refreshing, and they’re usually cheap!

A micro-vacation is a break from your day to day that refreshes and recharges you. For some people, they’re a better fit than a longer vacation. Traditional vacations cost a lot and it can be difficult to get away from your work for an extended period of time. Also, family vacations can be draining. Compromises must be made – to meet everybody’s needs.

A micro-vacation is the answer. I take mine alone. If I choose to include someone else, I make sure that they’re going to be fun. The focus is on refreshing me. When I return to my work refreshed, wise decisions come easily. New ideas rise to the surface.

It can become part of a personal plan that helps you remain healthy and ready to laugh at more of the things that cross your path each and every day. This is a good thing.

You may be wondering if I understand the pressures you face. I do – and I know you can arrange to escape those pressures for up to 24 hours. You may also wonder how far away you can get in that small period of time, away from the pressures in your day-to-day world, the office, your home, and your responsibilities. Take a moment now to think about what that could mean to you.

Take time to assess what the essence of a successful break from your life would look like. What turns your crank? With a little creative thought, you will be able to capture a nugget of that refreshing idea.

Can you remember what you used to do for fun before these other responsibilities overtook your life? Were there hobbies, interests, or passions that you had that you haven’t done for a while?

Give yourself permission to take this break. This is the first stumbling block in taking time just for you. The practical side of arranging the break is easy after you deal with that issue. Please don’t take cell phones, pagers, or laptops. Then, make a deal with your brain. Turn off the work stuff for a set period of time. I promise that it will all wait for your return.

Focus on personal thoughts, fun ideas, new things – not how this new idea relates to your business. Just do it – completely break free. Once you practice shutting off your brain to your work pressures, it gets easier. Just re-focus your brain to having a relaxing time for your short break. Distract yourself from your business.

After you have made time for a micro-vacation, I’m sure that you will want to book another. Review your planner at the beginning of each month to block out some time that is reserved just for you. Write it in your planner, and there is no need to explain why you can’t schedule something else. “I’m sorry, that day’s already booked…how about the next day”?

You really do deserve this short break on a monthly basis. You must take care of yourself to keep a healthy balance between work and home. This is a solid approach to stay in the workforce for the long haul.

I recorded a cassette tape called ‘The Joy of Micro-vacations”. Let me know if you feel the need for more specific ideas about what to do when you get away from the pressures of your work life.

Elizabeth Verwey of Small Office Mentors guides people to become more effective in their time and space management : www.officementors.com. Her book, “The Mentors Circle – Clearing your path to business growth”, was published this year and is useful for sales teams : www.mentorscircle.comElizabeth lives in Toronto and can be reached at (416)-463-1713.

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