Have you ever looked at the calendar and said “What?! It’s May already, all over again? I feel like it was 2010 yesterday.”
I get this feeling regularly. Even though I write down and make myself look at all the stuff I achieve every week and month, it still sometimes feels like time is flying by.
In this article, I show you what you can do to make time slow down several times throughout they year and even during weekends.
I was on holiday in Zakynthos in June 2013 for two weeks. I did have internet in the hotel but I decided to turn off all notifications of “important” emails and to ignore my inbox for 2 straight weeks. It was extremely tough.
The second time I disconnected completely was during my trip through South America in November/December 2013. My girlfriend and I went to visit a friend in Ecuador. Before we started the trip, he clarified a few things in regards to the infrastructure and internet down there.
I saw a great opportunity to disconnect myself from the rest of the world for two weeks.
The result was a complete slowdown of time. It was even more extreme than in Zakynthos because in Ecuador, there simply was no internet, except at big hotels. Since we stayed with my friend during the first weeks and he did not have internet at home (What?!), I had no choice but to disconnect.
I suddenly had to think about what to do instead of mindlessly checking emails I can’t respond to anyway, checking the weather instead of simply looking out the window, reviewing my website stats and of course, see who is posting pictures on Facebook.
We went for long walks along the coast, had picknick at the cliffs, lied at the beach, went jogging, explored the area without much of a plan (vs. checking Tripadvisor) and spend the evenings playing guitar, drinking cuba libre and have deep conversations about the future of money (my friend is a banker), business and the meaning of life.
The two weeks felt like months, not because we were bored but because we suddenly had so much time to do things, talk and explore.
Hire Somebody You Can Trust to Manage Your Emails
When I was in Zakynthos in June 2013, I had just started my business that year and was scared everything would burn down in the two weeks I am away.
I decided that my comfort zone needed a little stretching so I hired somebody to deal with my emails during the time I was away. I hired her about a month before I went on vacation to allow enough time for her to understand how I work and the way I handle my emails.
Fortunately, she was a fast learner. A month was not enough for me to trust somebody 100% with everything that is going on so I told her to email me to a special VIP address that I would still be checking.
When I traveled to South America, she already knew me and my business much better and I trusted her fully. I told her “I will be away for two weeks now, it’s all on you. If you are not sure how something works, use your creativity and make a decision. My business is not likely to crash, just because you make a small mistake so don’t worry about that. I won’t read emails and there is no way to reach me during these two weeks. Also remember that if something is too big for you to decide, it can most probably wait until I’m back.”
Set Expectations With Clients and Partners
From early on in my business, I have set clear expectations with my clients. They know what they can expect from me and how our work relationship looks like. Everybody understood that I will be on vacation for two weeks.
One thing I have learned from my past in the corporate career as a middle-manager is that many times, problems solve themselves if you give the person who screams “Problem! Problem!” some time to think. Luckily, my clients don’t scream, they come to me with their issues at the right time because they know what to expect.
Taking it a Step Further
I am in the process of taking this concept a step further and completely disconnect myself at least one full weekend a month. This is hard for “email-checkers” like me but I know it’s more than worth it. Not just because it slows down the time at the weekends but also because it helps me to spend more quality time with my girlfriend and best friends.
So, here I am, committing myself to completely disconnecting myself from the internet for one full weekend a month.
How are you making the most out of vacation and weekends?
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