I've just spent the weekend lying on the beach. I have work left to do, articles to submit, people to get back to, but I sat there on the beach with friends, ate seafood, drank wine and generally had a 'jolly good time'. Why am I telling you this? Because I'm self-employed and when I'm not working, I usually tend to feel guilty. And this weekend, I made it a point not to feel guilty.
The thing with being self-employed
Unless you're ace at setting boundaries - and I'm pretty useless at that - you're going to end up working all the time. Or if you're like me, then you might fluff about a bit, work a bit, fluff about some more but never leaving my laptop because, you know, work. Often times I feel guilty if I'm out with friends when I feel I should be working, or growing my business or something.
However I've allowed myself some down-time leeway, after some forced experimentation with taking time off, as well after watching this awesome TED talk by Stefan Sagmeister about the power of time off:
What happens when you take time off?
At least for me, I feel refreshed, relaxed and renewed. And the best part is, I get back to work with an eager enthusiasm. I can't wait for Monday to roll around so I can get all these ideas I've collected over the weekend on 'paper'. On Sunday evenings I have time to plan my week and it gets me excited to see all the stuff I have to look forward to.
While some people might unplug completely, I don't, but I still find my time-off beneficial.
Not all my time-off is spent doing something amazing. Sometimes I just chill by myself and read books, sit in cafes, take a stroll. Sometimes I get sucked into a Netflix-hole. Yeah, those are fun. Sometimes I watch movies back to back. Those are awesome. The point is to do things that you want to do but don't feel that you deserve. To let your mind relax and unwind and not think about work.
I find coming back to work after some down-time so beneficial that I do not miss my weekly time-off - unless there is a huge assignment - but even then I take some time to take a stroll or to do anything to get my mind off work. Even a little break like that can act as a reboot for the mind. How about you? Do you take any time off as a Digital Nomad?