“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.” – Bertrand Russell
I’ve been having a lot of sleepless nights lately. Sometimes they’re inevitable, but in having this experience over the last few weeks it dawned on me that I was seriously missing an important topic on Authentic Growth and in my own professional career. There are a lot of great benefits to taking some time off from work, and many people I know can use a reminder of them.
1. Freeing Your Mind – When you get your mind and body completely out of your routine, you start thinking in different ways
Your environment undoubtedly has an impact on how you think. When you take a step back and enter a new place or a new environment, you give your brain different stimuli to interact with.
This stimuli may produce results in your thoughts that you wouldn’t have experienced practicing your regular routine. When you step out and give your mind new things to look at and experience, your mind in turn provides you with new insight, and expression as a result of that experience.
2. Clearing Your Delusions – It’s hard to think differently when you’re doing the same thing every day
A lot of people get away because they feel stuck and just want some downtime to unwind. I’ve been there and I will say it’s certainly a valid reason. But it’s not only that you want to get out of a situation you feel stuck in, its that your mind is subconsciously looking for a way for you to release yourself. How might it do this, you ask?
Your mind does this by allowing you to remove yourself from a routine that’s gotten you trapped where you are in the first place. When you are in the mud, it’s hard to see the clear skies ahead. When you set aside 7, 10, 14 days for some free thought, you break open time in your mental arena to build new habits, think differently, and find solutions you didn’t have time to think of before.
3. Ending Monotony – Break the routine while you’re away and watch your thoughts
Not only is it important to clear up your delusions and think in different ways, but you have to break up the monotony in your life for your developments sake. It’s easy to step onto a treadmill at the age of 22 and never step off until your 60. Do you want to spend your life on the same path?
Vacationing and taking time off helps you take a step off the treadmill, reassess how many miles you’ve run and which direction you’re going, and return with a powerful stride to overcome obstacles. You need to take a step back to free yourself from the monotony, your mind and body will thank you for it.
4. Becoming More Valuable – You are a better performer when your mind is refreshed
Do you pride yourself in being valuable to your company? I’m talking like “I can’t take 10 days off! I need to provide value to my company! People rely on me here!” Well, I’ve got something to ask you now- do you value your company and those people more than you value yourself? It’s a delicate balance, being the person that people rely on to make decisions and to bring your team success. But the only reason you’ve gotten where you are is because you’ve been able to make good decisions and because you value who you are.
To provide more value to your company, you need to break it up and be able to step away from your people and your operations. If you’ve done a good job managing to this point, you should be able to have things run smoothly in your absence. The likelihood of things falling apart is incredibly low, whereas the value you’ll gain from getting your mind out of the mix will immeasurably outweigh any risks you face.
5. For Your Future’s Sake – Time off helps you see the bigger picture, restructure your life, and your career
Let’s face it. Are you planning on working at your company forever? Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years? These are questions that you probably never have the time to answer. I always set aside some time on vacation to write down my thoughts as they pertain to my life, my goals, and my career. This time away from work is the only change you’ll have to do that.
Cherish it, and while you’re off on your tropical islands, or even just hanging out in a local city, don’t overbook yourself. Allow yourself some unscheduled time to think. You have schedules your entire life, now is your time to explore, unwind, and gasp- maybe even write down your thoughts. Enjoy your thoughts and freedom while you’re gone, and when you return- implement the things you’ve learned.
That’s all for now. I know this post has thoroughly convinced you to schedule some time off, so go do it now, and while you’re at it prep yourself with some good books to help your growth.
Resources for breaking through Monotony like never before:
-Anthony from AuthenticGrowth.com