Take a time out.

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I'm taking next week off (starting today, actually). This is exciting news, because vacation. Enough said. Vacation is pretty precious when you're self-employed, because it's much easier to just work all the time, all the time. And then be thinking about work any time you're not actually working. Especially when you love your work (that's right, all my clients who might be reading this: I enjoy thinking about you and your awesome selves, all around the clock!).

I was getting coached today and we were looking at what was getting in the way of my achieving milestones on my projects, because it's got to be a thing, right? Like, it's not simply just me not doing my stuff, right? Yeah...

It turns out, I'm just really tired. Really, really in need of a break. Conveniently, I have next week off, so the means to my rescue is readily available. I'm going to be away, doing fun things in fun places (The Happiest Place on Earth, in fact).

The thing that I distinguished is that I rarely take time off. I mean, sure, I dick around and procrastinate with the best of 'em (you read that right: I dick around and procrastinate. Coaches are people, too, y'all.), but I rarely take real time off, where I'm not worrying, stressing or otherwise still holding expectations of what I'm going to magically accomplish while I'm not working (you know; work elves). I'm referring to time off where I'm not setting myself up by:

  1. Planning to accomplish a bunch of goals with all my time off.
  2. Being near my computer.
  3. Not planning anything and then waiting for the fun to happen (while simultaneously not using said empty time to achieve All The Things I set out to do on vacation).


Turns out, I'll often create a pretty mighty disconnect between what I'm wanting to do and what I'm wanting to accomplish. This is a win for my survival mechanism, which then gets to prance about (yep, my survival mechanisms don't skulk; they prance), gleefully reminding me of all of what I didn't accomplish (both the stuff AND the vacation/relaxation). I don't the stuff done and I don't get the relaxation done, either.


I like to call that the old "2-in1 shampoo": Anything (me) claiming to do two things at once (relax + be productive) is mostly likely doing neither one particularly well. It's a sudsy mess that doesn't really clean or condition.

I mess them both up and then I get to beat myself up for not being productive on my time off (because that's how downtime should be, right? Productive?) and then I get to beat myself up for not being committed to my well-being, too, and screwing up my relaxation. "You're relaxing all wrong! Bad Bay."

I sure show me. High fives.

[Tweet "Is your time off really time off? Really?"]

Nope. Not this time. I'm revising my project milestones and nary a SINGLE one of them will feature a due date until after my vacation. See what I did there? I'm actively setting myself up for a great time off, by taking my expectations down (for work, that is; not fun. I have extremely high fun-spectations).

In service of me getting on with my time off, I'm gonna sign off now. See y'all in a couple of weeks!

Do you ever sabotage yourself like this? Work to burnout, and then spend your downtime worrying about what you're not producing? What's that getting in the way of? How would you like it to go, instead?