June provided a unique opportunity: take a vacation (or 3) without work guilt. June had both personal and professional obligations that had me question "can I do it all?". The month ended up being a success, but not because what I accomplished. Instead, it was due to what I neglected to do.
Coming from a corporate background that ingrained the idea of overworking, I never believed I could run my own business and still take time off. In the past, my corporate laptop was a world-traveler, seeing some of the most beautiful sites, stadiums, bars and museums. Wherever I went, I was expected to bring my laptop with me.
However, for my own business, I decided to do things differently. I was adamant about taking time off, without all of the old stress. As an example of what's possible, I took three non-consecutive weeks of vacation, but without any of the guilt.
Despite encountering some hiccups along the way, this experience taught me valuable lessons about work-life balance and the necessity of time off. In this blog post, I will share my insights and offer guidance for those who struggle with finding the right equilibrium between work and personal life.
4 WAYS TO ENJOY A STRESS-FREE VACATION WITHOUT GUILT
During my three weeks out of the office, I faced a few unexpected challenges that reminded me of the importance of proper planning and having a reliable team. Despite meticulously preparing in May, the execution wasn't flawless. Here are the key lessons I derived from my time away:
Time uninterrupted is the goal, but it's not always practical: While we strive for uninterrupted time away from work, the reality is that it may not always be achievable. Certain circumstances might require our attention, but the key is to strike a balance and prioritize self-care amidst the demands of work.
You need a team you can depend on: Building a trustworthy and capable team is vital. Having colleagues who can handle critical tasks in your absence allows you to step away without constant worry, ensuring that the business continues to run smoothly.
Even with a good plan, things may still get missed: No matter how well you plan, it's possible for some tasks to slip through the cracks. It's crucial to have a backup plan and remain adaptable to unforeseen circumstances that may arise during your absence.
Remember to set your out-of-office message: Closing your computer without activating your out-of-office (OOO) message can lead to confusion and unintended consequences. Always double-check that your OOO message is set before stepping away, ensuring clear communication with colleagues and clients.
AVOID STRESS BY TAKING TIME OFF
I often hear from many women who feel guilty about taking mid-day breaks, bring their laptops on vacation, or even attend meetings on their days off. It's important to acknowledge that life isn't perfect, and taking a vacation without some guilt is normal, but time off is a necessity for our overall well-being. Balancing personal and professional lives is crucial for long-term success and happiness.
Reflecting on my experience, I worked for a total of about one hour over the course of three weeks. This threshold of minimal work is one I am willing to tolerate, and I am committed to finding ways to improve it for future breaks. Taking the step towards a better work-life balance starts with acknowledging the need for change and taking action.
SUPPORT WILL HELP YOU PRIORITIZE VACATION TIME OFF
If you find yourself secretly struggling with taking time off and have been for years, it may be time to consider hiring a burnout coach. A coach can provide valuable guidance and support in prioritizing career advancement without sacrificing the much-needed personal time.
I am currently open-enrolling new clients into my 6-month coaching program, Freedom. Through this program, I will teach you effective strategies to prioritize your career goals while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. If you desire a career that allows for a balanced personal life, where you can celebrate and enjoy time with friends and family without "OOO guilt," then you have come to the right place.
Take the first step towards creating the joyful summer and balanced life you deserve. Use the link in my bio to book your consultation and unlock the possibilities of finding true work-life equilibrium.
Finding work-life balance is a constant journey, and taking time off is an essential aspect of achieving that equilibrium. By sharing the lessons I learned from my stretch month, I hope to inspire others to prioritize their well-being and embrace the benefits of time away from work. Remember, it's not just about professional success; it's about nurturing personal fulfillment as well. Take action today and make the necessary changes to create a more fulfilling and balanced life.