Balance, Perspective, Vision
I just returned to work this morning from a weeklong spring break trip with my family where we did…. pretty much nothing. We laid on the beach, played in the waves, splashed in the pool, and ate tacos. We spent quality AND quantity time together, which is precious in a family with two busy kids and two working parents.
On the flight down, I got some work done, sending notes and follow-ups to a few clients and working to schedule meetings for the weeks following our vacation. I also had plans for a couple of client calls later in the week; the beauty of Skype and Google Hangout. The first two mornings, I spent some time on email over a cup of coffee, responding to inquiries and making a few of my own. Yes, I was working, but I was working while looking at the ocean, so I was still on vacation, right?
After two days on the beach, my plans changed. The sense of urgency faded away (because nothing which with I was dealing was urgent). I stopped responding to emails, then stopped checking altogether. I canceled the two client calls I had scheduled, telling them that my kids reminded me that we were in Mexico to play on the beach, not talk on the phone (my clients agreed). I relaxed, I unwinded, I began to balance out.
And then a funny thing happened. My perspective changed. Decompressing with my family allowed me to take a step back from the business and get out of the day to day focus on my work, which allowed me to see the bigger picture. Conversations with my wife over dinner or a drink turned to the big things, the long-term plans for my business, rather than the meeting that was coming up or the new client I was on-boarding. I read books that inspired me to think differently about my clients, my business and myself. By taking some very intentional time away from my daily tasks and activities (all of which are important to my success), I found the space I needed to think about my Vision— I took my own advice and spent time working ON the business, not IN the business.
It was exciting to spend time time thinking and talking about the future, on where things can go and how to get there. It reenergized me and refocused my attention. I arrived home on Sunday chomping at the bit to get to work, not because of a need to catch up on what I missed, but because of a desire to move my business forward into the future that I envisioned on the beach in Puerto Vallarta.
This is why finding balance— reconnecting with friends and family, decompressing and getting your mind off work— is so valuable. It reminds you of what is important and allows you to recharge your batteries. But it also has the unintended benefit of giving you perspective, of taking you out of the grind so you can rediscover your path (or find a new one). Balance leads to space, space leads to perspective, and perspective leads to Vision.