If you are in the northern hemisphere, summer has just ended, and the kids are back to school. Chances are, you have taken your annual vacation, and you may not have plans for another vacation for awhile. But what if you could take vacation days every month? Wouldn’t that be great?
Actually, adding in vacation days every month will help you grow your business. I know that seems counter-intuitive, but it’s really true.
Think about it. As a coach, you are also a business owner. Do you have days when you feel like a computer with too many windows open? Do you sometimes think, “If I only work harder or if I can put in more hours then I will be successful”? Are you exhausted by the sheer amount of decisions that must be made?
This metaphor of a computer with too many windows open at the same time is an appropriate one for the times when we are in overwhelm. As coaches, we are highly creative individuals, prolific idea generators, and we like to have many projects going at the same time. We enjoy the liveliness of the creation process and we are good at it.
The dark side of idea generation
There is bit of a dark side to all of this. With all of this creativity, how do we focus? How do we choose what to implement? And how do we create services and products out of these amazing ideas that will make a profitable business? How do we access our own creativity and ingenuity at will so that we may answer all of these questions as they come up?
Every coach faces this feeling of overwhelm at one time or another. We all know the feelings of exhaustion at times, as we develop, maintain and grow our businesses. At times, the overwhelm of the sheer number of tasks we do for our business can prevent us from remembering what inspired us to start it in the first place.
Your greatest asset
Just as your body needs rest each day to recharge, your mind needs rest, too. The rest cycle for our business activity is weekly. It is common wisdom that we spend approximately 6-8 hours per day sleeping (25-33%), and this is a good rule of thumb for refreshing our minds on a weekly basis.
That means that 1-2 vacation days per week are optimum to keep our minds functioning at their maximum creativity. As an coach, your creativity is a huge asset.
You use creative solutions to run your businesses and give you ideas on how to market in easier and quicker ways. When you are in a highly creative zone, new answers come to you, your ingenuity is high and you are inventive in your problem solving.
One important way of nurturing creativity is taking regular time off. An absolute minimum of one day per week is recommended for recharging and refreshing.
What vacation time means
When you take vacation time each week — which means refraining from business reading, talking or thinking (harder than you thought, huh?!), you are supported in keeping your creative juices flowing and staying out of overwhelm.
When someone works too many days in a row without taking the time to recharge their batteries, they can find themselves in a mechanical zone. In this mechanical state, a decent level of productivity on tasks that have already been mastered can be maintained.
However, just as with continual sleep deprivation, on new tasks or when unexpected problems occur, productivity and decision-making abilities are diminished. Most of us can still function in “vacation-deprivation,” but not as well.
Since being a coach involves mastering many new tasks on a regular basis, staying in the creative zone is so important.
Vacation days increase your level of consciousness
When anyone is in a mechanical state and problems occur, it is difficult to find creative and easy solutions. The mind is only able to access what is already known. Albert Einstein said that a problem cannot be solved at the level of consciousness that created it. While in this mechanical zone, access to a new level of consciousness is unavailable.
So – give yourself the gift of a new level of consciousness and creativity. What will you do on your vacation days? Refrain from business reading, talking or thinking. Allow yourself the luxury of not checking any emails for an entire day. Go outdoors and play. Pet your cat (or dog, or any other living being). Read a novel or see a movie. Unplug.
Those vacation days that seemed like a fun idea, have actually become like oxygen. That’s the good news. They are part of your self-care as a coach and business owner. Remember to schedule in at least 4 vacation days per month, and commit to taking them. Then watch your creativity soar!
I’d love to hear what you are doing on your vacation days. Please share!