Hello from NOLA! What a cool city – the sites, the sounds, history, the culture, the atmosphere, THE FOOD!!! I could go on and on about all the reasons why to visit this town, but that’s not what my post this week is supposed to be about.
My husband was invited to be here this week to attend a function with his company, and I tagged along for the fun of it. I had only ever been to NOLA once before, and that trip I was here for work, so I didn’t get to do much touristy stuff. And, certainly not enough taste-testing! The beignets at Café du Monde alone are worth having more than once… Back to why I’m here. We have two small children at home, and I am a partner in a small business venture that needs lots of attention each and every day – so there are several very good reasons why I should have stayed home this week and kept at the daily grind. But you know what, that’s what it was starting to feel like to me – the daily grind. Recognizing that I was nearing the burn-out zone, I bought myself a plane ticket and didn’t second guess my instinctive need for some much-needed time away.
Do you do that? Talk yourself out of taking time off because a, b, c and x, y, z all need to get done. I do. ALL THE TIME. I’m a typical type A personality – the perfectionist, the reliable one, the i’s dotted and t’s crossed kind of person. I work hard, but I often forget to play hard too.
All work and no play makes Amber a dull marketer.
And, I bet I’m not the only one. Think about it: When was the last time you took time off? I mean, really got away, unplugged, let the good times roll? If you’re like me, I bet you have to think long and hard about how to answer that. Yes, I travel quite a bit – some for work, some for pleasure. Yes, I like to spend time with friends and family doing adventurous or experiential things. Yes, I get away from my office for lunch dates, cocktail hours, evenings out, long weekend, etc. But I have to admit, I’m never really away. I’ve always got my phone nearby, with quick access to my email…text…Facebook…and more.
The result is that I never am “off duty,” and that starts to wear on me after a while. I bet it does for you too. You know what happens then. I start experiencing writers’ block. My creative juices seem to dry up, or at least slow down to a trickle instead of flowing like they are supposed to be. It takes me twice as long to get through my projects. I make silly mistakes and then beat myself up over them. I talk in circles. I work second shifts (i.e. get back to work after my kids go to bed at night).
So, what’s the remedy? How do I get myself back on track? Rest and relaxation. Yep, good ole’ fashioned R&R. It’s that simple. After much-needed downtime, I come back feeling fresh, focused and ready to tackle my to-do list again (and honestly, life in general).
Here’s my challenge to all my marketing friends: Take a break! Yep, sign yourself up for some time off and go enjoy yourself for a bit. Yes, yes, I know you are all very busy and important…I am too (or at least I like to think that I am. Ha!), but rest and relaxation is good for the soul. And if your soul is revived and recharged, everything in your life, including your work, will become refreshed and refocused.
Do it and let me know what you find out.
Now, if you’ll excuse me…I’m signing off to go explore more of NOLA!