Ten years ago, I read Tim Ferriss’s book The Four-Hour Work Week which taught me this concept: mini-retirement. That means Tim Ferriss has a few holidays per year; each holiday lasts for several months. This is the most inspiring concept I’ve ever seen.
You must rejuvenate yourself regularly.
Yes, you read that right. I said “must”, not “should”. Rejuvenation is so key, especially in this day and age when everyone is busy with “busyness”. Indeed, a lot of people get the validation from being busy all the time because being busy makes them look important. Sad but true.
But instead of running yourself into the ground, why not treat rejuvenation like a business meeting?
Holidays expand your outlook.
Whenever I’m on holiday, I always come up with something creative. All of my highly creative ideas were generated when I’m totally relaxed! Since creativity fuels productivity, I would argue that holidays can surely improve your work performance in a tremendous way. At the end of the day, when you are broadening your horizons, you are able to look at things differently at work, thereby finding new solutions faster.
Your holidays, your rules.
Some people prefer switching off their laptops and phones when they are on holiday, whereas others prefer checking their emails once a day even though they are on holiday. I don’t judge any of them because I believe that everyone’s style is different. You should do what’s right for you. If you feel that checking your email once a day when you are on holiday makes you more productive, go for it!
How overworking can affect your personal relationships
Nowadays a growing number of people are overworked. If you feel the need to overwork all the time, it might suggest that you are actually underpaid. Worse still, overworking can seriously affect your personal relationships. Please let me explain.
The biggest regrets in life…. In her book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, Bronnie Ware points out that the most common regrets of the dying are: “I wish I didn’t work so hard” and “I wish I stayed in touch with my friends.” Isn’t that sad?!
Truthfully, if you spend most of your time working extremely hard, you don’t really have the bandwidth to keep in touch with your friends. Unfortunately, many individuals don’t even contact their family members frequently. A person that I know only sees their parents once a year maximum.
Understand why you are working so hard. Before you get on with your work, I’d like you to pause and ask yourself, “Why am I working so hard? What for?” Do not work hard for the sake of working hard, please. Always find out your why first.
Actually, you might realize that you work hard so that you can better enjoy your personal relationships because your most important value isn’t really hustling all day every day – it’s probably your personal relationships with people that you do care about.
The truth about work and personal life balance, including overseas holidays
Okay. I admit that I don’t really believe in work/life balance, because 100% balance is a myth. As a matter of fact, I would prefer work/life integration. Here is why:
It’s very normal to focus on one or two areas at a time at some stage in your life. Derek Moneyberg is an influential mentor who has built several multi-million-dollar businesses and makes 8 figures a year. He famously said, “Life has different stages. At one stage, I focused on my education and my career. At some other stage, I focused on my business and my love life. That’s absolutely normal because focusing on everything means focusing on nothing.” This is pure gold.
That being said, it doesn’t mean you should ignore other areas of your life. It only means you are aware of your main focus right now.
Work/life integration is the key to success. Let’s say you have to look after your child and run a business at the same time. Sometimes, it’s perfectly okay to bring your child to a business meeting, as long as you inform your business partner beforehand. In this way, you are able to kill two birds with one stone. This is a typical example of work/life integration.
When you are cooking, you can listen to a webinar. When you are driving, you can talk to your colleague on the phone. When you are working out in the gym, you can listen to an audiobook which helps you do some research for the project you are working on.
Isn’t work/life integration ten times more powerful than work/life balance?
How to Improve Your Productivity at Work (after an overseas holiday):
Need some motivation when it comes to boosting your productivity at work? Well, it’s time to take some notes now ?
Do the most challenging task first every morning. Before you go to bed at night, you should plan your tasks for the next day. Ideally, you’d better wake up without the need to make any decisions every morning. When you are planning your tasks for the next day, make sure you will do the most challenging task first thing in the morning. If you think talking to the difficult customer on the phone is hard, call that customer first! If you think writing a marketing email is hard, write that email first! After completing the most challenging task, you will feel energized throughout the day.
Prioritize your health and wellbeing. When people are busy, they tend to forget about their health and wellbeing. But you won’t make this mistake. In the new year, you will make health and wellbeing your No. 1 priority because this is the foundation of your career success. You don’t have to meditate for one hour every day if you don’t have time for that. You can simply go to bed earlier, eat healthy food and exercise on a daily basis – these habits will build a strong body and mindset ready for any career success.
Karl Lagerfeld famously said, “The minute you like your job, it’s not work anymore.” Indeed, according to this world-renowned fashion designer, he has never worked a day in his life because his job is his hobby. Clearly, there is a way to never work a day in your life, as long as you are able to find your true passion. Here are some methods for unlocking your inner desire:
What are your natural inclinations? When you were a child, you knew exactly what you were interested in, e.g. music, art, sports, writing, etc. As you grow up, you have been influenced by your school, peer pressure, teachers’ opinions and parents’ opinions; consequently, it’s getting harder and harder to hear your inner voice now. The society keeps telling you what is cool, so perhaps you want to change your goals based on what you hear. However, it’s time to make your inner voice louder and actually listen to yourself because only that inner voice can tell you what your natural inclinations are and what you will enjoy doing in the long term.
Ask yourself: ‘What did I enjoy doing when I was 6 years old?” Hah. The answer to this question is oftentimes who you really are! I know many experts would tell you to find out your why, but I actually want you to find out who you are first.
“When you know who you really are and be that person in your career, you won’t need to work a day in your life.”