Recently, I took a week off, but I didn’t go anywhere. My goal was to stay home, sleep, read, relax, and recharge. The vacation didn’t start as a staycation, but the combination of some cancelations and some reading I have been doing on recharging convinced me to just stay home.
I’m a strong believer in the need to recharge. I strongly encourage my team at Red Wagon to take a vacation. In my previous job, I would even go as far as making it a point to review people’s vacation schedule during yearly planning meetings. Now, if I think someone doesn’t have enough vacation built in, I ask them to consider some four–day weekends or another week in the summer. Our team requires rested and refreshed minds to tackle the complex work we do, and so does yours. This thinking goes back to what Covey talked about in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. You can cut more wood in the same amount of time if you take a break to sharpen your saw. The same is true when it comes to vacation.
As part of my recent staycation, relaxing and recharging were critical. My wife and I sat down to plan. We cleared the calendars, put off projects, and planned days of total inactivity. I have to tell you, for the most part, it worked. While we made it work, it wasn’t easy. The challenge is that life just gets in the way when you are at home. We found ourselves returning to the same routines of our normal life. It was a constant battle to relax and recharge. Basically, it was a battle to do nothing, which is extremely hard for me.
This leads me to advice for anyone planning to recharge at home — don’t. When you are away from home, you can’t run to that dentist appointment, or you can’t take the kids to basketball practice. You are forced to vacation. You can focus on doing nothing.
If, like me, you find yourself forced into a staycation, here are some best practices:
- Cancel all appointments. Don’t take the kids to any appointments or practices; they wouldn’t go if you were in Florida.
- Put down the tools. It is so easy to tackle that to-do list around the house. Don’t do it! For most people that won’t recharge anything.
- Order-In. I try to always eat healthy, especially when I’m home. It’s the easiest place to eat healthy, but it is work. Try to cut down on the work. Nothing says you aren’t on vacation like cooking. Do your best to order in, but order in healthy food.
- Don’t see friends. It seems like a good idea to have friends over, but maintaining friendships can be one of the most draining things. A true vacation is when we all get a needed break from our friends.
- Don’t run errands. Nothing eats into relaxing time and kills a recharge like driving around in traffic, fighting crowds, and trying to shop.
- Plan your time. Sit down and plan what you are not going to do. Today, we are not going to do laundry.
- Turn off Wi-Fi and cell service for a day or two, minimum. You will be amazed at how refreshed you will feel. These bright objects drain a significant amount of energy from us, even when we are using them for fun!
- Go outside! Staycations can be cold (if you live in the north), but if the sun is out, get out. The vitamin D you get on a real vacation is a huge value to the recharge. You still need to get some; get out there and soak it up! Make the time to truly recharge; you need it!
Written by: Wade Wyant
Red Wagon Advisors, West Michigan Scaling Up Coach