We live in a world of 24/7 connectivity. Add the fact that we have been going through the worst economic crisis in decades and it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you have to keep pushing and pushing to get ahead. (Nothing like putting a little pressure on yourself)
We all have responsibilities. Responsibilities to our business, our employees, our employer, our family and to our community. But let’s make sure we do not forget the most important person on that list. You have responsibilities to yourself. You cannot possibly live up to your responsibilities if you do not take care of yourself.
Stress robs you of energy and of good health. You need to plan into your schedule some time to relax, renew and recharge your body and spirit. You have to give your brain some down time – you have to occasionally unplug from the 24/7 chatter and simply relax and enjoy your surroundings.
On a recent vacation I walked into the restroom just off the hotel pool deck and noticed a man talking quietly on his cell phone. He appeared very relieved that I was not a family member and he had not been “caught” on the phone. He was talking to the office and looked very guilty in the process. What a shame I thought. He is so tied to work that he cannot even relax while on vacation in sunny Florida. He had to hide the fact that he had his phone with him. What kind of vacation (and life for that matter) was this man having? How could he relax and recharge when he was both worried about staying in touch with the office and worried about being caught with his phone. What a sad situation.
I am not saying that it is wrong to check in occasionally while away from the office but if you have to hide that fact, or simply feel lost if not connected, you have a problem. My premise has always been that true success involves your head, heart, health, wealth and world. If you do not step away from the hustle and bustle of life to simply enjoy your family, friends and the world around you, you will never achieve true success. You will not enjoy a happy balance between the five elements of success.
It is not only okay but it is essential that you plan some down time (day off, long weekend, extended vacation, etc) into your schedule. Your overall performance can only stay at a top level if you give yourself the time to recharge. How often have you said to yourself “I really needed this vacation”, or “I waited too long to take this break”. It is only through the process of recharging that you can achieve the highest levels of success in all areas of your life. So right now – before you get distracted – plan your next break. Write down when, where and what you are going to do. Get it scheduled and enjoy both the countdown to and the break itself. You’ll be glad you did.
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