Take Time Off

from Rhea Perry 

When you work as an entrepreneur, it??s waaaay too easy to work yourself to death and never take time off.

Stephen Covey demonstrates how to schedule Time Off into your life in a very practical way.

He has a participant from an audience come onto the stage and put little rocks into a container of water. Then he says to add the big rocks which won??t fit. But when the person takes everything out and starts over putting the big rocks in first, they all fit in neatly.

So that??s what I??ve learned to do with my time.

At the end of December, I look at the whole year and mark off the dates of really big events like my conferences, the few conferences I attend regularly, family birthdays and anniversaries. That way we don??t miss anything.

I can also set up the birthday cards for the year to be sent online a week before using www.SendCardsFromHome.com

That way, when events try to sneak onto the calendar, I can easily decide whether we can work it in or not based on what else is happening that month.

If you don??t learn to control your schedule, it will control you.

So the first things I block out are two weeks of vacation in the spring and fall and one annual Beach Retreat in Destin, Florida.

And guess what?

We just got back from the beach retreat and boy was it marvelous! We weren??t even affected by Hurricane Ike! We rented a house right on the beach with a pool, 7 bedrooms and Internet access so we didn??t miss anything. My daughter-in-law Carol cooked for us and everyone had simple jobs so the housekeeping wasn??t a chore.

I took the girls to get their nails done one morning and took most of the folks out on a boat for the day. Some of the guys went fishing a few times and everyone did what they wanted. We even had company.

A few of my advisory team members were there so we discussed strategies for our upcoming projects. Overall, we all had a blast!

If you use vacations as a reward, they motivate you to keep going. It??s more than painful to work all the time and never have the time or money to go somewhere special to enjoy life. So I use vacations to motivate me to create good habits so I can achieve my self-imposed goals. Here??s how you can do the same:

In December, look at the spring and fall months that have the fewest activities in them with your family and choose one in each season to have a vacation. You may have to start with a long weekend instead.

Then contact anyone who could possibly have an event of any kind occur during that week to find out what they are planning and to let them know you won??t be available. Then mark the calendar, shop online to book a place to go and tell your team members that you will be unavailable that week.

Then when circumstances and opportunities come up that will prevent you from going that week, just say, ??Sorry. I have an appointment with myself and my team and/or family.?? Then go and have fun. And don??t worry about what you??re missing. Just be thankful that you are taking time off.

If you have your annual business meeting while you??re there, you can also write that off on your taxes. Being an entrepreneur can wear you out because there aren??t a lot of personal perks beside free time and unlimited income. So if you figure out how to build quality Off Time into your life, your great vacations will motivate you to keep going.

Plus, it??s just fun to spend a week at the beach?? or the mountains!

So many books, so little time…

who would love to live at the beach

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