This is both an apology for not having a post last week and an advice post.
You see, I spent most of last week running around a hotel in Bloomington, MN with 6,000 of my closest personal friends at a fan-run science fiction/fantasy convention called CONvergence.
I help run the Guests of Honor department at CONvergence. I get to invite really cool people who work in the science fiction and fantasy scene to come talk to our attendees about the amazing projects they’re working on and share fun stories about what they do for a living.
I also spend hundreds of volunteer hours (along with about 300 other people who organize the convention) on making this convention happen every year. Then I spend the convention itself taking care of our Guests of Honor and supervising some of the most awesome people ever, the liaisons who work directly with the Guests of Honor.
Most of my days are spent running errands, tracking down people or things for panels and checking in to make sure everyone has what they need, when they need it.
Yes, this is what I do for fun.
I offer my apologies to all of my friends who I waved at as I went running by, but never got to see this year. It was a crazy, wonderful, fun convention and I had a great time! I hope you did too.
Do I recommend you take a vacation like this? Not unless you’re a workaholic like me. I actually love what I do for the convention and it’s my yearly, guaranteed break from “real life.”
Do I recommend that you take a vacation at least once a year?
I try to take at least two. CONvergence and one other, usually around the holidays.
You need to get away from your work so you can think clearly when you come back to it. It’s the same reason you need to take weekends to yourself and limit the number of hours you work every day.
If you can’t step away from your work, you can’t step back to see the big picture. You get mired in all of the little day-to-day details. Everything starts to feel overwhelming. You won’t be able to see how you’re progressing because you’ll get caught up in the craziness of running a business.
If you take time away from your business, you’ll be able to come back to it with fresh eyes. You’ll see the things that need to be fixed. You’ll also see ways to improve what you’re doing, or new ideas for products or services.
After finishing CONvergence, I was absolutely exhausted. But when I got back to work on Tuesday morning, I had lots of fresh ideas for my current client project, and for my own business.
Your brain needs a chance to relax every once in a while. (Or at least be distracted by some other problem or activity.)
So I’m giving you permission to take time away from your business to go have fun.
Take the family to the beach. Go on that cross-country road trip you’ve been talking about. Go see the Eiffel Tower. You started your own business so you’d have the freedom to do the things you wanted to.
So go do them. Seriously. Your brain and your business will thank you for it.