One stress factor overwhelms you and drives your professional existence. To take a real vacation you must free yourself from that one stress factor if only for a few days.
Clues to identify your one stress factor. You should find yourself putting items related to this factor at the top of you daily to-do list. You should be constantly searching for ways to be better at this factor. In many ways it should feel like it consumes you from morning to night and sometimes wakes you in the middle of the night. OK, perhaps I’m more obsessive than most but that’s how I figured out what my one stress factor is.
Some more identifying clues. For me, it’s the pressure to always sell enough to keep the business running. That may or may not be your one thing. For example, you might be just starting your own business. You’ve decided to use a blog as your vehicle for marketing the business. Then, getting great content produced might be your one stress factor. Take some time and figure out what yours is.
Take a week off. I believe the concept of time off has changed for the modern entrepreneur. The key is to get away from your one stress factor. I know this because I just spent a week doing it. I still worked each day, just not as many hours and I ignored or perhaps pushed aside the pressure to sell. I convinced my brain that for these seven days selling would not matter.
Focus on the important tasks. I’m an early bird so for me that meant an hour or so in the morning to addresses key business issues via email. Even voice mail from the previous days was responded to via email. Throughout the day while enjoying time with my family I periodically checked email and addressed one or two key time sensitive issues. The rest got deleted or set aside to be addressed the next morning.
My lesson. My one stress factor ties up about 80 to 90% of my typical day. I’m still deciding if that’s a good thing, a bad thing, or just is. I know that by setting it aside I was able to enjoy the last week and not feel like I left my business or clients hanging. One day my head was even clear and empty enough to attack a task I had been putting off for months.
I’ve reengineered or reworked most of what I do over the last year. Time to take a hard look at my most time consuming one stress factor. That starts Monday. Any advice for me going in?