OMG you guys. I am writing this post while sitting on a beige oversized chair, listening to Little Dragon, having just come into my friend's lake house studio from floating in yup, a glorious, gorgeous lake, for about an hour. I'm pretty stressed out about it.
In fact, I should be stressed right now. My site has been down since Saturday (apparently requiring excessive resources of my hosting company, none of which seemed to merit a “heads up” email), I have loads of client work on the table, a digital course to develop, design and promote, an inbox that will not quit, and much etcetera.
But I'm actually feeling okay about it – things will work out, and I am doing some of the most important work I will do all year. I'm taking some time off.
I am doing some of the most important work I will do all year. I'm taking some time off.
Running our own blogs as de-facto businesses (or even just an after-work hobby), requires an intense amount of energy, forethought and foresight. It is way too easy to wake-up to the laptop, instead of with a cup of nectarine white tea. I've learned to not only look at time-off as a fun and delicious way to enjoy my life more, but an integral part of running a successful business. Without fail, I get hit with a major inspiration sandwich each time I board the plane for home.
In fact, letting our minds off the hook, to wander, to experience, is actual a key ingredient of the creative process. If you are waiting for the next “a-ha” moment, whether it's a new article idea, blog tagline or potential partner, your best bet is to chill for a bit. Research supports this, suggesting that “sudden insights…are the culmination of an intense and complex series of brain states that require more neural resources than methodical reasoning,” and highly successful bloggers do this all the time as a strategy to combat burnout. In Forbes, Psychologist Deborah Mulhern suggested that “not taking time off can make it harder for our minds and bodies to relax now – and from now on. She went on to say that, “the neural connections that produce feelings of calm and peacefulness become weaker, making it actually more difficult to shift into less-stressed modes.” If that isn't motivation (and justification) to take a vacation, I'm not sure what is.
If you've backed yourself into a posting schedule that doesn't fit your summer plans, or are furiously trying to force out a new big idea, take it from me, and take a break. The world won't end, your readers won't abandon you (they might even respect you more for it), and you just might find that embracing a little downtime is exactly when you need to get back on your blogging game.
Do you enforce a vacation policy for yourself? Tell me about it – and follow more of my Seattle adventures on Instagram.
[Image Credit: Shutterstock.com]