Sunday night I reluctantly returned from an amazing week in Antigua. I realized how incredibly lucky I am to have such an amazing, generous family. I also realized how desperately I needed the vacation, which is precisely what inspired this post. Here are the top reasons I needed a vacation and why you might need one too!
- Just plain burnt out.
I felt like a zombie the week before I left. I was so burnt out, partially in preperation for my trip. I had increased my gym days to 5 per week. After work and on weekends. I also trained my horse 4 days a week, and then add work 9-5 Monday through Friday plus a 3 hour daily commute. I was basically at home, awake, for 2 hours per day.
I slept almost the full 5 hour flight to Antigua and on the way I vowed to really relax this time. Read books. Laze around. Gone are the days where I need to fill my entire vacation with activities. Don’t get me wrong, I did a ton of fun stuff on this trip; golfing, water trampoline, snorkling and karaoke. But I made a point to take some much needed r & r.
2. Increased productivity.
Part of the reason I was so exhausted before my trip was because I was so busy preparing for it, both personally and professionally.
I had to hand off all my current projects to my colleagues, finish training documents and any work that was due the week I was going away. I informed the clients of my absence.
Personally, I had to look effing awesome for my trip, so I had a six week intense gym training program. I also had 3 tanning sessions, a wax and got my hair done. I also saved up a bit of money to do some bargain shopping.
I recently bought a project horse to train. He needed training before I left so he would be well behaved for my Mom. She was riding him while I was gone. I also had to do all my laundry, pack and clean my house so my brother could stay comfortably and dog-sit for us.
Looking back on my productivity I feel like a superhero, but I realize it isn’t sustainable. Which is why it’s so great to have a huge burst of productivity before a nice, relaxing vacation.
So for me a vacation is setting a short term goal and a hard deadline. Both of which allow me to perform at my peak level of productivity.
3. Staying focused on the end game
Escaping one of Ontario’s most oppressive winters to relax in a tropical paradise got me thinking….
I need to do this more often and for longer periods of time. I need to set some long term career goals.
The early morning commute in minus 30 degrees celcius. The straight up battle it is to get into work in the winter, through snow and ice. Why bother? I could work at Wal-mart, 5 mins from my house.
But that doesn’t support my long term goals. I envisioned myself sitting on the deck of our vacation house, at the breakfast table. Laptop out, tea beside me, breeze blowing the palm trees gently while I start my days work.