Summertime ... and
the Living is Easy
by Jim Donovan
this classic song from the Broadway hit, Porgy and Bess,
reminds us, summertime is a time to relax, rest,
rejuvenate and reward yourself for all the hard work
youíve been doing. As they say, all work and no play
makes Jack & Jill a very dull boy & girl. We all need
time to relax and just ďplay.Ē
No matter how
much you truly love and enjoy your work, it is
necessary, from time to time, to get away from it all.
This may mean going on a trip, even if only for a day or
two, or an extended vacation of several weeks. Perhaps,
for some, it means staying right where you are but
taking time away from your day to day work to get out
and see whatís around you.
Believe it or
not, doing this can be the best strategy you have,
especially if youíre in a rut. Removing yourself from
the daily routines associated with running your business
or household not only helps clear your mind and opens
you to new ideas and possibilities, but it will also
take you out of your patterned behavior and stimulates
your creativity by presenting new experiences, sights
from your everyday environment gives you the opportunity
to see what life is like for other people in other
locations. Whenever I travel, I make a point of
observing what local businesses are doing. I usually
talk to one or two business people in the town or city
Iím visiting. This gives me a totally new perspective on
things and opens my thinking to new possibilities.
in an unfamiliar location causes us to think and act
differently. It takes us out of our routines, moves us
away from our comfort zone and literally bombards our
creative minds with new and exciting sights and
Take time to
play. Not only will you return more relaxed and rested,
youíll surely have new ideas and renewed enthusiasm for
your life and your work.
away right now?
Why not give
yourself a Self-care Day?
When was the last time you took a day just for yourself?
If you're like most people, your answer is probably
never. Essentially a Self-care Day is a 24-hour
period where you take care of yourself. You do no work
at all. I know, I can hear your protest. I protested too
when I first heard this idea ďBut you donít understand,
I have to check my voicemail, I have to return phone
calls, I have to answer my emails and on and on.Ē I
protested in my very best entrepreneurial voice. The
truth is any of us can take a day for ourselves without
consequence. Believe it or not, the world will keep
spinning. Calls will wait as will email.
This is a day just for you. If you normally do the
cooking, on your Self-Care Day, you will refrain from
making meals. Trust me your family will not starve.
Obviously if there are small children or infants that
depend on you, you would have to modify this. Overall
try to do nothing that is related to your normal work.
This is a pampering day just for you.
The first time I did this, I discovered just how my work
relates to things that I do on any given day. Most of my
reading was centered on business topics. Being an
entrepreneur and self-employed, I was convinced I had to
be working all the time. I was wrong. Kicking and
screaming, I embarked on my Self-Care Day. I took a
walk, read part of a novel, took a luxurious bath in our
soaking tub (something I never used to do) and just hung
out and took care of myself. What a concept!
Itís been some time now and my Self-Care Day has become
an integral part of my life. I not only feel better, and
am having more fun, I have my life back. Doing this
regularly has enabled me to put my work back into
perspective. I no longer work seven days a week and I no
longer do email throughout the day.
The interesting thing is that because of my taking this
time to nurture myself, Iím actually more productive.
Because Iím taking better care of myself I have more
clarity and Iím able to better focus on the task on
hand. Because I am taking better care of myself, I am
more creative and productive. Most of all, because I am
taking better care of myself, I feel better and have
more balance and happiness, after all isnít that what
itís all about?
Schedule one 24-hour
period, sometime within the next 10 days, when you can
give yourself a Self-Care Day and then go and do it.
Once youíve done this, see how you might be able to do
this weekly and when you feel really ready, schedule an
Self-Care Day for what would have been a normal work
© Copyright 2005 Jim Donovan.
All Rights Reserved.
Jim Donovan is the author of the
International bestsellers, Handbook To A Happier Life
and This Is Your Life, Not A Dress Rehearsal. He
is also the founder and CEO of www.FreelanceHelp.com,an
Internet network for creative professionals. His
articles, books and a free subscription to his
newsletter are available from www.jimdonovan.com.