Written By: Jesse Morris, Owner – We Book Travel, LLC
Oh wave season, how I missed you! Everyone knows that this time of year represents a huge opportunity for us to make or break our year. More vacations are booked in the first quarter of the year than the other three quarters, by a wide margin. I am personally working very long hours to keep up with the demand and in talking to other agency owners, I am not the only one. Working hours like this, while lucrative, can also be draining and create frustration. Taking time away isn’t exactly an option for those who want to maximize the opportunities in front of them so how do we avoid burn out? Here are some tips for disconnecting from work and reenergizing.
1. According to reports, the average American spends nearly 10 hours per day looking at a video screen of some sort (TV, laptop, tablet, smart phone, etc). Most of that is at work, but a fair amount occurs after work. Studies show that looking at any blue-light emitting device 1-2 hours prior to sleeping leads to increased depression and anxiety along with poor sleep quality and higher stress. So stop using your devices! Easier said than done right? We are creatures of habit so having your tablet or smart phone on your night stand makes it very easy to just pick up and utilize. We removed the TV from our bedroom to avoid the temptation of turning it on. Instead of playing on a tablet or smart phone, read that book you have been trying to get around to reading.
2. We spend more than 80% of our day on our email, in meetings or on calls. Regardless of whether you are an introvert or extrovert, there comes a point where you have to disconnect. Some alone time is critical to recovering from your day. Disconnecting is about more than just being alone, it’s about avoiding activities that put you in a position to react to input from others. Social media, podcasts and watching TV can all be done alone but do not allow us to truly disconnect. We see or hear something and mentally we react to it. Taking a walk for 15 minutes, quietly prep dinner alone or meditate before bed. These activities allow you to disconnect the brain and help you reset.
3. Another way to force the brain to disconnect is to create an end of your day process. This is a series of activities that signal to yourself that the day is over. Things like creating your next day to-do list, cleaning up your desk, closing out tabs and organizing your desktop and any other next day prep work you like.
We continually hear about the importance of work-life balance. As an agency owner (and even prior in my other jobs) this isn’t something I have ever been very good at. But if you don’t set hours, remove yourself from stress (even for just a couple hours a day) and ensure you have time to reenergize there will be more stress, your quality of work will suffer and so will your emotional health. I read a lot about self care as I am sure you all do. Make it more than just a catch phrase. Integrate processes in your life to ensure you take care of yourself.
How do you take care of yourself and disconnect? Share your thoughts with me at email@example.com. Until next time, have a productive (and hopefully a lower stress) wave season!