Last month I took 3 weeks off for a trip to Australia with the family. It was the longest holiday I’ve had since I got married (7 years ago). We spent the majority with friends at the beach, hosted everyone at an amazing beach house we rented, & celebrated my 40th over multiple days. We also took a road trip to the tiny town where I grew up (and hadn’t been back for 29 years). We introduced the kids (2 & 3yo) to my home country for the first time. It was an amazing trip.
Reflecting on it now, the one major personal benefit was perspective. Being away from the daily grind freed up my mind to think about the bigger picture. To reassess both immediate & longer-term objectives & plans. To revisit & eventually listen to what my gut was saying.
Although not everyone is able to take that much time off, if you can, definitely do it. Or take as many shorter breaks as you can manage. Plus, bake in ‘perspective time’ into your daily week. This could be morning routines, fitness, listening to music or podcasts when commuting, or simply walking. I’m certainly more mindful of this now. For me, I’m generally pretty good at focusing on this. My week of perspective time generally looks like this:
- 4x week of sport squash & fitness (weights, run, spin class)
- x2 Podcasts per day (right now I’m into The Pitch, Without Fail, Product Hunt Radio, a16z, Business Wars Daily, Masters of Scale)
- 5 min Journal morning & night (I’m generally poor at this)
- Read for at least 15 min before going to bed (currently reading Michael Ovitz’s autobiography & Bad Blood, story of the Theranos fraud)
- x1 week dog walk/run on beach
Given that we have a 2 & 3 year old I’m doing pretty well to achieve the above. Our next family trip is a week away in May which will be outdoorsy, staying in cabins in a forest outside the Cotswolds. We do it yearly and I can’t wait. Perfect for gaining perspective.