Don’t Burn Yourself Out. Just Do This For Your Sanity’s Sake!
How and why I take a vacation frequently
“Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax.” — Mark Black
I regularly take a vacation from all my productive activities.
This sentence alone probably brings a lot of questions in your mind:
- Maybe Danny doesn’t like his work?
- Maybe Danny just can’t handle the pressure?
- Maybe Danny is just a slacker?
- Something else?
The truth is, I love what I do. Everything I do.
I’ve been coping surprisingly good with pressure considering the number of things I do all at once, like running Power Level Studios, writing on Medium, writing two books, working on two other startups, etc.
And because of the above, you know I’m no slacker. On the opposite, I work so hard that to maintain a peak state of mind, resting is a necessity.
It’s like when you work out, the most productive thing you can do for gains is to rest in between to let the body recover.
Last month when I came back to Canada to do some paperwork and visit friends and family, I had lost my momentum. Seeing new groups of people every day and rushing to get paperwork done completely drained me mentally.
I had lost the hard-earned momentum I had built from the last 3 months in India.
I didn’t have to energy to wake up at my regular hour. I even skipped working out two or three days in the past 30 days. That was the thing I swore not to skip.
- I hardly made any progress on Soul Reaper.
- I stopped writing every day on Medium.
- I fell behind on all my activities.
I’m sure this kind of lost momentum happened to you as well at some point.
In fact, even though I’m a highly self-disciplined and productive guy, I’d say to happens to me regularly.
It’s normal. Our high-stress environments are not meant to be lived at high pace every day, 365 days a year.
Because of that loss of peak state, I decided to rest for a few days when I arrived in Toronto again a week ago.
Sometimes, you just gotta rest.
It’s not the first time I write about this subject, but it’s so true that I had to write about it again.
This morning is the day I returned to being productive again. I woke up at around 5am, my usual time. I’m excited to start my productive activities again.
Do you ever feel like that coming back from vacation?
I certainly did this morning. I also felt that way the last three or four vacations I’ve taken.
The biggest factor in my excitement to be productive again comes from having rested.
I’m talking about truly resting. A real vacation. A break from everything. No technology, unless necessary (like Maps or Translate).
I did not touch my computer at all until yesterday.
I forced myself not to think about work. I try to empower my team to be self-sufficient, so it’s easier to disconnect. I trust them.
And I think this is an important part of disconnecting. Prepare your colleagues before you go and trust in them. If you can do that, you’ll be able to free your mind.
During my vacation, I slept, napped, did light sightseeing, played video games, read, meditated and journaled.
Obviously, I’ve just started my productive activities again an hour ago, so it’s a bit pretentious of me to even mention “momentum” at this point.
But I’ve been through that cycle multiple times now, and it worked every time.
The thing is, if you have truly rested during your vacation, you’ll have an incredible amount of energy you’ll need to spend.
Use this energy. Get back to your most productive habits. Listen to your body and mind. Don’t overdo it. Follow the principles in my most actionable article:
The definitive guide to building lasting momentummedium.com
Little by little, and with perfect consistency, your momentum will be back. Just not right away.
And that’s normal. It takes me 2–3 weeks to reach my peak state.
Once you’ve earned your hard-earned momentum back, you’re on your path to “success” again.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed and can’t perform at your peak performance, it’s time you start thinking about resting.
You don’t need to go away or even take a few weeks off. A few days is usually enough to “recharge your batteries”, provided you really do switch off during your break. No technology, no work, nothing.
Relax, get back to your hobbies. It’s your time, do things you want to do that doesn’t work towards your productive activities.
When you’re rested, get back to your productive habits and be consistent with them.
So next time you feel overwhelmed, dare take a break and rest and rebuild your momentum. You deserve it.
You can do this!
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