Aaaaaaaaand, we’re back!
Taking a break is so nice and so necessary, but it also makes me miss my work. What can I say? I like what I do.
As I mentioned, I took a break for the last 10 days to stay home with my 3-year-old, Jackson, whose preschool was taking their summer break. I always look forward to this time each summer. It’s my annual excuse to take some time off and totally unplug myself from my work.
Since I run a company, my job is fairly 24-7. When you’re in charge, you’re always on in some capacity. So, for this one week, I allow myself to truly step away and it helps me to stay fresh and sharp at my job.
It also gives me some great time with my son. Spending 24 hours a day together is different for us, as I’ve worked full time since returning from my 4-month maternity leave. It’s nice to be able to focus on him and on our home without having one eye on work.
(And, may I say that the ONLY way I’m able to do this each summer is because I have the very best team in the business? Seriously. These women are my inspiration and my saving grace.)
In the blog post’s title, I said I had a “successful” staycation. How did I do that? Here are the 4 things that made the biggest difference.
1) I prepared a schedule for our week. This is key for me, whether I take time off alone or while caring for a child. Long, unplanned stretches of time just freak me out, man. I get all weird. So, I took a bit of time to plan one larger “anchor event” (something fun for Jackson, like a trip to a children’s playspace, a movie or a playdate) each day and then at least one “chore” (cleaning the fridge, going to the dentist), so I’d feel productive and he’d see that life isn’t all Minions and M&Ms.
2) I built lots of “flex” into that schedule. With one anchor event and one chore, we still have time for things to roll out as they may. So, if we feel like art at breakfast, we do that. If we want to stop and put sticks into a Gatorade bottle, great, we’ve got time. If we want to build Legos for two hours, Mommy’s game.
3) I deleted my work email off of my phone and laptop. THIS WAS KEY. In the past, I had a really hard time mentally checking out because I’d see that red dot on my email icon, telling me that there were hundreds and hundreds of emails waiting for me. I’d “take a peek” and there’d go my focus. Not this time, people.
4) I devoted myself to “singletasking”. Speaking of focus, I told myself that I would really make sure I took this week to singletask. I am a horrible, compulsive multitasker. I am almost never doing just one thing. But that’s tremendously enervating, as well as not great for Jackson. So, this week was all about being fully in the present moment. It took some doing to get into that headspace, but once I did, it became easier.
Those are the 4 strategies that help me make the most of this summer break.
How do you recharge your batteries? Do you love to travel or is a staycation more your speed? With or without your kids? I’d love to know!