I just returned from a 10-day trip visiting family and friends in Europe. This was the first time I had gone on a serious vacation since starting my business and it was pretty scary. It was incredibly difficult for me to put my work down, so I planned to do at least the essentials while we were traveling. Unfortunately, I ended up finding myself in several situations in which we had a bad connection or didn't have a converter and all of the stores were closed and I was unable to access my email or phone or work documents. At first, I panicked - this work needs to be done! However, anxiety about something over which you have no control is, in my opinion, a waste of energy, so instead I began to embrace the time away.
This allowed me to share moments with my husband, my in-laws and our friends, to sleep in a few days, read a book (I just finished You are a Badass and highly recommend), I think there was even one day that I didn't even open my laptop (*gasp*). If you are a solopreneur, it can be hard to walk away from your work, but these forced unpluggings have convinced me that not only are breaks essential, but they can actually help your business grow. Here are a few benefits of unplugging:
1. Clarity. Stepping away from deadlines and emails allows time to do some soul searching and evaluate your desires and goals from a place of non-restriction.
2. Recharge. If your cup is empty, it is impossible to serve others. Unplugging allows you to recharge your energy which will help you serve you customers and clients in a more powerful way.
3. Creativity. Inspiration often comes from unexpected places. Taking some time to take your eyes off the screen and notice and engage with the world around you can facilitate major inspiration for your business and beyond.
4. Learn. I find that I mostly interact with people within my industry. While it is truly wonderful to engage with people who share your passions, interests and knowledge, meeting people from different industries, cultures and social circles can open our eyes to new information, ideas and sown times even business partnerships.
ps. If you do have to work during your vacation, I highly recommend WeWork. WeWork has offices in major cities all over the world and is my go-to if I need a quiet space for a phone call or dependable wifi.