It’s not in my nature to sit still. Even when I don’t have anything to work on, I make work for myself. But lately, I’ve been singing a different tune…
Last week I went on a family vacation to Cuba and, and I saw it as a great opportunity to get some creative personal work done. I brought a sketchbook and notebook along with me for that inevitable day when I’d want to sketch or draw or think or work on something, but that day never came. Instead, I wanted to forget about work. And I’d be lying if I said that didn’t scare me a little.
Am I just becoming lazy? was a thought that crossed my mind. And it freaked me out a little bit.
I knew this was a dramatic and unlikely thought, but as someone who wants to work most of the time, it was strange to enjoy and want nothing more than to lounge on the beach all day sipping piña coladas. Needless to say, it wasn’t hard to surrender to this (I was on vacation after all, and as vacationers do). I let myself relax and enjoy, with the thought that when I got home, I’d dive right back in.
After getting home late last Thursday, I checked my emails and leafed through what I had missed, and by Friday night, I had dealt with any pressing emails and was feeling good. Then the weekend hit, and I prepared to wake up and get into it. But when I awoke, instead of tackling a monster of laundry, I did absolutely nothing.
Then Monday came around and I did the same: nothing.
Tuesday I did some work, but after a four-hour day, I spent the afternoon and evening watching Love It Or List It Vancouver and Millionaire Matchmaker.
But then Wednesday hit and something unexpected happened. I woke up, went straight to my office for the first time in two weeks, threw on my favorite podcast, and got shit done. I replied to countless emails, finished a project that wasn’t due for another week, updated my site, and prepared my upcoming blog posts for Design*Sponge.
Now, the act of resting being necessary is not novel or new, but resting when I feel like it in order to later get more done was important for me to realize.
So if you’ve found yourself a little unmotivated, instead of forcing the pedal to the metal, take a break. be lazy for a day or two or three! Don’t pretend to work, give yourself the persmission to do nothing knowing you’ll attack it harder when you’re ready, later. You’ll waste as much energy poking around and looking busy than you would if you were actually doing real work.
Taking time off is good. And sometimes a vacation may need to extend past your scheduled time off. Don’t worry if you’re not jazzed to go, go go right away after s break. Listen to your body and your heart, it’s usually smarter than your brain.