WholeLife Matrix: Health & Well Being / Vacation / Time Off

“Three things you cannot recover in life: the WORD after it’s said, the MOMENT after it’s missed, and the TIME after it’s gone.”
— Unknown

We often believe that our hard work will be rewarded and a strong work ethic will bring us success and financial stability. Although having a good work ethic is important, people often don’t realize that too much work and no break can actually negatively affect your performance over time and your relationships. Many people either don’t take vacations or feel obligated to do work while on vacation and check their work messages and respond to them. Here are some tips on how you can spot whether you or someone you know is working too hard and ways to have a better balance between work and other aspects of life.

Your beliefs about work can keep you in a cycle of overwork.  One example is that you might feel guilty about not working, even when you are doing other things like socializing, and may feel like you need to make up for the time that you were not working. You may also feel like you always have to be available to take a call or answer a question.  This may come from being a people-pleaser.  But you have to realize that most things are not urgent and can wait.  You may also be afraid to delegate, believing that only you can do the job well.  But in reality, others can save you time and give you new ideas for doing things.

As we mentioned, many people neglect to take vacations because they feel like they must work all the time.  Planning and anticipating a vacation can be a fun experience in itself. As you are planning, you can visualize the exciting things you will do and get more and more excited about your upcoming trip so that you look forward to it. Letting go of the routine daily grind also lets you see things from a new perspective.  While on vacation, people have the chance to reflect on their lives and often make new decisions about how their life will go forward.

One way to get a new perspective on things is to plan a day in the week when you don’t use any electronic devices like TV or internet and don’t check your messages for the day.  You may be surprised at how much more relaxed you can feel and realize just how much time you spend on constantly checking messages.  Another idea is to check messages only about 3 times a day.  You might view messages at 10:00, 1:00, and 3:00.  This way, you are checking messages throughout the day but not too often, which helps to keep your stress level down and eliminates unnecessary time spent on viewing emails.

During the day, when you are working, take time to relax and have some fun.  Go somewhere away from the office to eat your lunch instead of eating and working at your desk, which does not give you the chance to relax and refresh your mind. Do what relaxes you and makes you feel good; this may include things such as stretching, taking a walk, watching a funny video, meditating or listening to music.  The important thing is to keep yourself feeling energized and positive. Having a consistent positive energy will help you get to where you want to be in life.

In the WholeLife Matrix, vacation and time off involve four elements:

1. Decompression
2. Being away from your daily environment
3. Absence of Pressure
4. Beautification

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Ralph White
Business Coach, Author, Artist & CEO
310.372.8538 | Ralph@Consulting2Win.com
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