Living the simple life

January 10, 2016 Sandra Dawes
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Hanging out at the beach! :)

I’ve been in Jamaica for almost 2 weeks now. Taking 3 weeks off will make this the longest vacation I’ve ever taken. I’ll admit I had some hesitation about taking this much time off even though 2015 was such a busy year and I kept saying I needed to unplug for a while (of course you see the irony in that since I’m clearly not unplugged at the moment!).

Even though I’ve been doing work while away, I have to say it hasn’t been the same as doing work at home. First of all, I turned off my mobile service on my phone, so there are no calls coming in (the blissful silence!). I do have access to the Internet, but I don’t feel the need to check it all the time, and I’m really doing work at my leisure. No rush, no pressure, just when the inspiration hits.

I’ve taken morning walks in a park close to where we’re staying and even hit the beach a few times. The last 10 days have been a nice mix of relaxation and productivity. It makes me wonder if I can bottle this vibe up and bring it back home with me. Is it possible to simplify life without beaches, sun and palm trees?

While the long term goal is to live in this kind of setting, I’ve been thinking about how to recreate this energy when I get back home. 2015 was a year of busy-ness for me. It seemed like I was on the go non-stop; events, workshops, and trade shows peppered my calendar throughout the year. Not all of my busy-ness was productive though. Upon reflection, there were times when it seemed like I was busy just to be busy. This is something that I am changing in 2016. I don’t want to be busy; I want to be effective and productive.

What’s the difference, you may ask? For me, the difference is in using my time wisely. It’s about being clear about my intentions, what I want to accomplish and having a clear plan in place to make it happen. Flying by the seat of my pants used to be a way of life for me, and it’s time to make a change. I want to be more proactive this year, clear on what I am working towards and establishing priorities so that I remain focused regardless of what’s going on at the present moment.

Busy is overrated. Being too busy can lead to burnout. Stop being busy and focus on being productive. Make time for quiet contemplation. Be clear on your intentions each day. Turn off the phone and the computer for an hour or two. Spend time with loved ones, do something that brings you joy. Don’t wait for a vacation to enjoy life. Give yourself permission to do it now. You’ll be glad you did! ♥

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