Vacations recharge your creativity and productivity
I just returned from vacation. It was great to get away from the routine for a bit and hit the “reset button.” We were at Disney World in Florida (yes, we’re Disney fanatics). It was my husband’s 60th birthday, and it just happened to coincide with February Vacation week for students here in Massachusetts. Yes, it was a full agenda, as most Disney vacations are, but this time we scheduled in some downtime. What a blessing that was!
Here are the major insights I gained while visiting with the Mouse Who Started It All.
Back in the 1920s & ’30s, when the Disney Company was young, Walt Disney was a workaholic. He pushed himself so hard for so long that he had a breakdown. He took a vacation with his family, and it changed his outlook completely. He realized that stepping away from work increased his creativity—he had his best ideas while he was away…not working.
I’ve found that, as well. As someone who works from home most days, there’s always some task staring me in the face—whether it’s “oh, I need to fix this web page” or “yikes, laundry’s piling up.” The list of “must do” items is distracting and makes it hard to get done the things I need to, especially the creative ones, like writing a blog (!) or creating a new template. Sometimes, when I am struggling with a new idea, odd tasks like “clean the refrigerator!” keep popping into my head.
But it’s so hard to take a few days off—even more, it’s hard to take the time to make the plans to take the time off! For me, not only is it finding the few days we’re all available, but it’s researching the hotel, arranging the dog sitter, etc. But it’s incredibly worth the effort!
At the end of the summer last year, I scooped up my family and spent 2 overnights at a hotel on the coast—only about 1 hour away from home. It was amazing! While they slept in (we have 2 teenagers…) I took walks by the ocean, ate breakfast at a little café, and generally had that “think time” we all so desperately need. Journal in hand, of course—does no good to think and let good ideas slip away.
Staring out over the water, I vowed right then and there to continue to take these mini-breaks throughout the year. It doesn’t need to be a Disney vacation, it just has to be away from the routine. Sometimes a day trip into nature—somewhere quiet—is enough, but if I can, I’ll do an overnight because for me, the most creative time is in the morning. I hope you all take the opportunity to step away from time to time—it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself.