Thanksgiving rolled around last year and I decided that I needed a break, so I decided to pay a visit to southern California. I’ve been entertaining this fantasy for the last few months that I’d like to move there in a couple of years, as I’m a big fan of sunshine and warm (not hot) weather. I discovered, much to my dismay, that not only does it get chilly in the San Diego area, but it had snowed in the mountains just prior to my arrival. For the most part, however, I was able to hang out in slacks and short sleeves and managed to avoid wearing any winter clothing while there.
Every time I go on vacation, I am challenged about whether or not to bring my laptop with me to check email and/or do a little work. On this trip, I brought my laptop under the rationalized guise that I needed it to look up the different tourist destinations I wanted to visit, and having my laptop along would let me get online to view this info, if I so desired. In the back of my mind, however, I had also planned to check and respond to any email as well as continue to refine my strategic plan for the upcoming year.
Well, I amazed myself on this trip, and I can credit my hotel for this. I never even took my laptop out of its case! My hotel didn’t make it easy for me to plug the laptop into a phone line while also having access to an electrical plug, and since getting online would have required me to rearrange my room somewhat, I was just simply to lazy to be bothered to do it. I was initially a little annoyed at this inconvenience, but then began to think of it as a gift. I can’t tell you the last time when I’ve been disconnected from a computer and online access for 5 days in a row–that’s a personal record for me! Amazingly enough, I didn’t even suffer any withdrawal symptoms!
In the weeks prior to my departure, I had been struggling with some ideas about restructuring my business and combine all of my business under one roof. I had been racking my brain about how to do both without driving myself insane and was only succeeding in giving myself a headache. When I’m at the point of being stuck or feeling overwhelmed, I won’t cut myself any slack and take a long or extended break. Instead I continue to plug away, becoming increasingly frustrated and stuck and not accomplishing anything, and then resenting the fact that I’m not taking any time off. Not a particularly productive way to be, is it? Intellectually, I know that to be true, but won’t own up to that fact in the moment.
During this trip, I had a pretty big breakthrough about this issue, and the answer came to me crystal clear during the week–on the plane, in fact. I discovered something that I’d always heard but had never found to be true for me until this profound occurrence. Are you ready….drum roll please……if you want to make more, you need to work less. That’s the big secret. It was only my getting away and not thinking about my business that I found the clarity I needed to move forward. Had I given in to my inner work demons (and they were quite vocal before I left) that were trying to convince me not to go away but spend this “vacation week” doing all the stuff on my to-do list so I could catch up on all of my back-logged tasks, I believe I would still be beating my head against the wall trying to figure out how to move forward with my ideas that will help me grow and expand my business.
I know that the extra “chi-ching” in my bank account is just around the corner. Try this principle of working less and see if you make more–I’ll bet you’ll find it as useful as I did.