Leave It All Behind

Do you take work on trips with you? Do you plan work time into your vacation time? Do you haul along all your equipment and vow to squeeze projects into the twilight hours before and after you sleep?

I always do. Or I always did. Until my last trip. I love freelancing and I pride myself on my ability to adapt and work anywhere, but does that mean I should? I'm learning that because I can work somewhere doesn't necessarily mean I have to. On my last trip with family, I ran out of time to work. It just disappeared... And my life went on. In fact, it went on better, stronger, healthier and happier.

Here's some reasons to leave the computer at home next time you travel:

1) Working for myself means rarely having a break. I get most of my ideas in the shower, at the gym or in the car. My boss is my brain and he's always there. But that doesn't mean I have to be at his bidding all the time right? I learned a long time ago that I have to end the work day at a certain hour and breathe in the evenings. Now I'm realizing that I have to do that on vacation too.

2) Your family deserves it. It's just Hubby and I now, making it easy to bring our work with us wherever. We discuss it, explain it to one another and like to see each other work. But sometimes, even if he would never ask for it, Hubby deserves the whole me. Not just the writer me.

Travel editor, Erica, agrees. In an email to me recently, Erica explained the importance of showing your kids how to take a break. Show them how important they are to you. Show them how important your spouse is to you. Show them how important extended family is. Show them how important your hobbies and your relaxation are. Show them how to rest.

3) Rejuvination. There's an Office episode in which Michael Scott explains that his antics make his employees more productive, because they have to be to make up for lost time. Silly I know, but a certain similar phenomena happens for me when I take a break. I come back, not just needing to work, but truly wanting to work. Really wanting to write. It's an amazing feeling. One I hope you will allow yourself.

Do you work on vacation?
Stay tuned next week for a note on HOW to take a break.

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