In this week’s podcast, Anna looks at the delicate balancing act between relaxation and still making progress in your career and business. How do you balance work and rest?
It’s summer, the kids are off school, and a lot of companies and businesses are closed or at least running a skeleton staff as everyone takes some much needed time away from the daily grind. In this episode, Anna shares 5 suggestions for what you can do to make those all-important connections and insights without ruining your holiday.
*Resources mentioned during the episode*
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Okay, welcome back. And so if you’re listening to this live, you will have been following along the last few weeks, couple of months. We’ve been looking at pillar four of building a life outside of the nine to five. Pillar four is building an effective personal brand.
And now we’re going to shift gears a little bit and look at pillar five, which is designing flexible work-life integration. Work-life integration is a version of work-life balance, which I personally believe is more meaningful, more attainable, more achievable. And in particular, again, if you’re listening live, it’s August now. The weather’s hopefully, fingers crossed, good for the next few weeks. We’ve got some time off. Maybe this year, 2021, it’ll be a staycation. I do see on Instagram now people are heading off to Greece and Spain and wherever. So maybe you’re choosing to travel abroad, maybe not. But whatever the case, if you have kids, they’re now home from school. If you have clients, then they’re probably not working as much, if at all. In fact, a lot of people, especially in Europe, are taking the month off. I know when we used to work with the luxury brands, the luxury fashion houses they’re called. See, I’ve already forgotten what they’re called years later. The luxury fashion houses in Italy and Milan would shut down entirely in August. I think the same is true of France and so on.
So, very relevant question today. And in the coming weeks, I will be popping in with some little shorter, lighter episodes for you to help you stay on top of things. And in fact, that is the topic today. I’ll tell you more in just a moment, but really helping you to stay in touch with me, with your goals, while still being able to have a really lovely holiday. So I hope you’ll still give me those 10, 15 minutes every week. And I look forward to sharing these ideas with you over the next few weeks as we look at this idea of work-life integration, which is so, so important and something I’m so passionate about.
And so the topic today is that exact topic question, which is how should we balance this holiday, taking time off, August, summer, relaxation, taking your annual leave, as you might call it? I always find that strange. It sounds like it’s the only time in the whole year you take time off. I suppose in America, people do only have those two weeks off, don’t they? So I guess that is just one holiday. But basically relaxing over the summer holidays. And of course this goes for any holiday. So how do you balance that relaxation with, on the other hand, thinking about your career, your business, making progress, in particular, on that big picture thinking? In my experience, and I see it in my clients, we get those really big aha’s, the big insights, in the space when we shut out the noise, when we’re not in the day-to-day. In my case, I’m busy doing the social media calendar every day and replying to emails and so on.
Actually, when I can just sit in the garden, if I’m on a plane with no wifi, that’s dreamy. I remember those days. When I’m on holiday on the beach, whatever, I can listen to something, I’ve got my notebook, I can explore. I can think. And even if I do nothing tangible, nothing intentionally to plan to think, it’s unavoidable to have creative ideas, innovative ideas, maybe related to your work, your business, new programmes you want to launch, a new direction in which you want to take your career. We’ve all had those moments of going, “Hang on a second. Do I want to go back to that hamster wheel? Is this really what I want to be doing for the rest of my life?” And those insights come on holiday.
So that’s what I wanted to try to get at today and to give you five tips for how you can still have that relaxation, still give yourself that time away, assuming you’ve set things up and you obviously don’t have client work and those kinds of things, or at least not as much, over the next few weeks.
I certainly will be continuing with some of those things, but I’m trying to carve out space for that big picture thinking. And five tips then for you to still have that time off while making progress on these bigger questions that are so important.
So without further ado, because I promised I’d keep these episodes shorter so let’s try to do that today. So number one is to read books. I know it’s obvious and I know it’s also really nice to read a novel, to read a fiction. When you’re on holiday in the bath, on the beach. And by all means, however, I certainly find it, and I’m sure you agree, inspiring, empowering, to read personal development, business books, career books. That’s actually how I made my very first changes, my leap as it were, took my steps outside my comfort zone, outside my job back in 2013. I’ve got a long list of recommendations that I have shared and can share with you.
So by all means, ping me. In fact, message me books on our Instagram or wherever you’re connected with me. And I’ll send you a tailored list if you tell me exactly what it is your doing or thinking about at the moment. I’m happy to recommend a specific book or a couple of books or a long list of books, depending on how fast a reader you are. But I love reading books and whether it’s Kindle, if you want to travel light, paperback if you like the feel of paper in your hand, hard back, if you really want to go hardcore or audio books is really big for me. It’s easy to go for a walk then and do the dishes and lie in the sunshine, whatever than reading books. When your eyes are closed, that’s the best thing about audio books. You can normally sleep, but you do need to concentrate a little bit. Reading books, such, such a good way of thinking differently, getting inspiration, having ideas. So that’s my tip number one. And again, message me books on Instagram, on your favourite channel, you can always email at podcastatonestepoutside.com and I’ll give you some specific recommendations.
The second one, listening to podcasts. And of course you’re listening to me. So thank you so much for that. And clearly you think that podcasts are a good thing to listen to, in which case, like an audio book, but a little shorter snippet, I suppose, shorter bite-size lessons, interviews. You can either binge listen. I know I’ve had people come to me and said, “Oh my goodness, I’ve just discovered your podcast. I’ve listened and listened to 50 episodes back to back.” And now there are several years worth so you’ve got quite a job ahead of yourself if you want to listen to all of them. Or you can choose based on the subject. Again, I’m happy to share my recommendations, past episodes from my reimagining success podcast, as well as from other people’s podcasts, that I know and love. So again, if you want to message me, podcast on Instagram or your favourite social channel, or email me at podcastatonestepoutside.com. Tell me a little bit more about your situation, and I’m happy to recommend specific episodes of my podcast, other podcasts, or just generally inspiring people to follow and listen to. So that’s number two, listen to podcasts.
Number three, and I mentioned this in the introduction. This is something I love to do. And in fact, the notes for this podcast episode are in a notebook. So grab a notebook and pen. There’s nothing really I love better than planning, reflecting, dreaming, really reflecting on brainstorming, mind-mapping, writing lists, planning, drawing up, whatever. And it’s so exciting, for me at least, to dream of all the possibilities. So there are some specific exercises. Let’s say you could imagine that you’re writing your obituary. What would you want it to say? Someone’s giving a talk at your funeral. I know it’s a little bit morbid. If you don’t want to pretend to be dead, you can also think of yourself old in a rocking chair, looking out over whatever, beautiful vista and thinking back, what regrets have you had? What are your biggest lessons learned? What do you smile and look back over fondly of your life? What that does that look like in your rocking chair? Other exercises like imagining, describing, designing your perfect ideal day. I’ve got all sorts of these up my sleeves. So again, let me know. You can maybe message me exercises if you want those from me. And again, tell me a bit more about what you’re hoping to ask, or if you just want some general thought-starters and inspiring questions and you can email at podcastatonestepoutside.com. But grab a notebook and pen and ask those questions, do those exercises and reflect the big picture.
Number four is an easy one. Talk to someone, whether you’re on holiday with your partner, a friend, sibling, ask about their hopes and dreams. It’s so lovely to listen, to engage, to speak to the other person and above all, again, listen, to understand what they’re aspiring to. Have they ever asked these questions? Have they found an answer? One of my biggest insights when I left my job was how everybody who you didn’t think had those questions and insights and big dreams and so on, very unfairly. I thought these people were just boring, corporate people around me. And actually when I left, they all came out of the woodwork and told me about their incredible things that they did on the side and things that they were hoping to do as well. So talk to them. It’s an opportunity to get to know each other better. And you can, of course, meet people in person if possible. Actually, if you want to make it a bit more formal, you can find questions to ask each other to really level cards, to ask yourself questions, maybe from the school of life. I have some or just a hundred questions to get to know each other better. You just pick one out of the hat. There’s all sorts of ways of doing it. Or you can just ask yourselves a few more informal questions. Again, I’m happy to send you some specific questions about talking to someone. And of course, hopefully they’ll listen and ask you about your hopes and dreams as well. If it is your partner, maybe your older children, that’s also an opportunity to dream together, to dream in the same direction.
And then finally, number five, and this may well be your favourite. Let’s see, ignore all the others. And number five is to take a complete break. Yes, because even doing none of these four things I’ve just given you is still going to help you take a massive leap forward by, first of all, nurturing your physical and mental well being. That’s so, so important. It’s the foundation of everything. Secondly, restoring some peace and tranquillity, and shutting out the noise and making space for those new ideas and insights. So literally, if you do nothing else, be totally kind to yourself, compassionate, be lazy, have fun, enjoy yourself – by all means, we all need it right after this last year or so – that’s still going to help you make progress on your career. I promise you, there will be insights coming out of that. And even if there weren’t any insights, which I very much doubt, when you come back, you’ll feel refreshed and you’ll have had a good time, which is also pretty important. So those are my five tips.
So again, read books, listen to podcasts, grab a notebook, talk to someone, and finally, do nothing at all. Just enjoy yourself and all these are ways in which you can balance having that relaxing time with making progress on your career goals, your life goals, your business goals.
So again, if you want tailored recommendations, you can message me or you can email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, any social channel, wherever you are. Tell me a couple of sentences about, “Hey, I’m thinking about leaving my job,” or, “Look, I’ve been in business for a while and this and that isn’t working. I want better work-life balance. I want to build my brand.” And I can send you some personalised recommendations of books, podcasts, and exercises you can do. Thanks so much for listening. Enjoy your holiday. And I’ll see you back here next week for another little mini episode on work-life integration. Bye for now.
If you’re ready to start to reimagine what success could look like for you, here are some of the ways in which Anna can support you:
Get private mentoring for your business – Partnering with a business coach can help you see those blind spots and get both external accountability and expert guidance to take your business to where you want it to be. www.onestepoutside.com/freeconsultation
Get private career coaching – Individual coaching is fully tailored to your specific goals and desires so we can create the programme that works best for you, with the support that you need to move forwards. www.onestepoutside.com/claritycall
Grab a copy of Leaving the Corporate 9 to 5 – After interviewing 50 people who have left the corporate 9 to 5 to forge their own path, Anna has collected their stories in a book that will inspire you with the possibilities that are out there and reassure you that you’re not alone in looking for an alternative. www.leavingthecorporate9to5.com
Join the One Step Outside the 9 to 5 Business Incubator – This is your roadmap to transitioning from a corporate job into setting up a meaningful business that will bring you more freedom, flexibility and fulfilment outside of the corporate 9 to 5. www.onestepoutside.com/9to5
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