I started writing this post while lying in a hammock outside Chattanooga as I was looking up at the leaves enjoying what was left of the fall colors in late November. It was a cool, crisp morning on the last day of a casual trip with few awesome guys. A true adventure; the trip was full of action, good food and lots of laughs!
In the professional world, I consider myself a hard-charger. I’m always involved in something new and progressing on some type of challenge. I am always exploring different concepts, learning new technology and researching new investments. I’m always signing up for something new and taking on new commitments.
Recently, I’ve noticed something has been off. I found that I was becoming less motivated and less productive. Items on my to do list kept getting bumped down each day. It was an odd experience for procrastination to take such a priority. Even more, I had less drive to change it.
Becoming aware that the lack of motivation was a problem; I started to think back to the last time I was most productive, inspired and ready to take action. Then it hit me. It was when I returned from my last big trip.
That was the AH-HA moment! The answer was so obvious. I needed a break. Things were becoming too bland and I needed a jolt to my life. That’s when I planned a trip with a few buddies, which led to an early fall morning enjoying the view of colorful leaves from my hammock!
See, I want to live a BIG life. I want to make an impact on the world, give to charity, inspire others and leave a legacy. Yet to live a big life, one must grow to handle the responsibility of a BIG lifestyle. The constant drive, goal setting, accountability, networking, presentations.. it all becomes a burden at times.
One can’t just push forward without a periodic break to recharge. We need a REAL mental break to keep a big life going. I’ve realized that this type of break is often in the form of a trip, an escape, or best referenced as a “mini-break!”
A mini break is not quite a vacation, but it is definitely a selfish, no responsibility small break from the normal day-to-day routine. It is a great reminder to enjoy life, even when you are in grind mode! A mini break will help boost creativity, allow opportunity to find focus and re-energize.
You can create your own version of a mini break. However, I recommend a mini break follow these characteristics:
- provide a different perspective by doing something different like run a lap, climb a tree, swim in a cold pond
- take on no responsibilities by allowing selfish fun
- be with people that inspire to do something different and beyond your capabilities
- get a bit scared by doing something outside your comfort zone
- keep it short to a day or a few days
From this point on, I will be be purposeful with my mini breaks by scheduling every 3-4 months. This is the timeframe when I start to get overwhelmed and productivity starts to slack.
What do you do to recharge?