lifestyle-design-blogTablets. Smartphones. Wi-Fi. Laptops. Flexible work-spaces. Emails. Text messaging. Good old-fashioned phone calls. Does it ever end? Today is Friday – and as we come upon another weekend, let’s take a step back and think about what weekends mean. Beyond the literal meaning of the end of the week, the weekend functions as something of a bookend between weeks. What is the purpose of the bookend? Bookends hold up books; weekends hold up your sanity….Why? We all need a break to recharge and step away from the work we do each week. It’s a natural human need.

Unfortunately, this need is getting ignored today. We are always plugged in, aren’t we? Take a look around right now: how many different communication devices (computers, phones, tablets, smartphones, etc) are in the room where you are? Shocked? With all of the ways work can reach us – and can creep up when we’re least expecting it (like in the middle of a law-and-order rerun, anyone?) – it’s time to get proactive about your down time. Start protecting it.

The Micro-Vacation Defined

Vacations are a time to get away from it all: they’re so important that most employers acknowledge that their employees need some time away to keep doing a good job, week after week and month after month. Whether you’re a shift worker or a CEO, you probably take home some workplace baggage day in and day out. When you take a vacation, you leave your work behind and enjoy life by living in the moment. Things like a great meal or a boat ride are to be enjoyed fully – without thinking about how many emails you still need to respond to back at the office. While vacations are typically a few days to a week, you can give yourself a micro-vaction today or tonight. Whether it’s 15 minutes or 15 hours, get away from it all. Give yourself permission to enjoy a delicious mug of green tea, quiet time to get deeper into a yoga pose, or a night out sampling craft beers – without the pressures of work building up and taking away from your fun.

Schedule Your Micro-Vacation

When you don’t have awesome things to look forward to, the daily burdens of life can start to weigh you down fast. Schedule yourself time to decompress and go on a mini-vacation. Whether it’s knowing that you’ll have ten minutes after dinner to lay on the couch and do absolutely nothing at all, or an hour each Saturday to go for a bike ride, make time for yourself. Pencil yourself in for micro-vacations liberally and frequently.

Enjoy Your Micro-Vacation

Once you’re off on your little micro-vacation, leave work behind. Turn off your phone (bury it in the backyard if you really have to). Turn off the thoughts about work. Take off your shoes. Feel the blades of grass under your feet. Smell the coffee. Breathe. Enjoy. If you find yourself peddling back to thinking about work, forgive yourself and focus again on the task at hand: simply letting loose.

Key Takeaway for Everyone:
Life is stressful and work is hard, especially in our tech-crazed world. Getting away from your obligations can be close to impossible unless you take your down time as seriously as you take your ‘on’ time.

Key Takeaway for Real Estate Investors:
Real estate investment can be an amazing way to enhance your lifestyle – or it can be a 24-7 work environment. Part of being your own boss is managing when you clock in, and when you clock out. Treat yourself like the important employee you are: give yourself the downtime you need to come back to your work refreshed and recharged. 

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