I’m taking a month off.
On Friday, I saw my last coaching clients of 2019. Four wonderful people who all engaged my support to help then move forward in their lives.
There was a motivational speaker who’s working with me to build her brand and visibility, grow her audience and get more gigs. We’ve worked together on presentation, story and delivery too.
Then there was the business owner who’s been working with me to gain more clarity and direction and, ultimately, build demand for her services and grow her bottom line.
And then there was the event organiser who wanted to sell more tickets and go international, and the coach who wanted help with content planning and getting to grips with LinkedIn.
My last coaching session of the day wrapped up at about 7pm, then I had some of my own admin to catch up on.
I’d started the day with a session at the gym with my personal trainer, so I was energised and ready to go, but that was a long day.
Watch your reserves
About three months ago, my wife took my diary, looked ahead to the first week that seemed clear and marked me as ‘on holiday’.
She knew I’d been overdoing it before I was ready to admit it. We’ve been together for almost 22 years and Asha is very good at spotting the signs.
I wasn’t sleeping. I was getting anxious. I was getting run down, too many headaches and displaying an uncharacteristic short temper on the days that felt too full.
My diary books up at least a couple of months in advance so, if I was feeling overtired, there was no room for respite.
At first, when Asha marked me out for a month, I laughed. This was ridiculous. No way could I take an entire month off work!
“You can still do things,” she told me, “I just want you to sit with the idea of not booking anything into that space that’s not already in the diary and see how it feels.”
I did as my wife asked and, fairly swiftly, everything began to make sense.
That month spans Christmas, so lots of people will be on wind down anyway. If I’m going to take a decent break, this would be the best time to do it.
A smile gradually formed and I felt my shoulders relaxing.
Asha was right. As demand for my services had grown, I had been overdoing it. Perhaps, in trying to serve as many people as I could, I’d been overloading my own plate.
I was still serving my clients to a high standard, helping them to achieve amazing results and generating brilliant testimonials for my business, but there wasn’t much energy left for me at the end of each day.
There wasn’t much energy left for my family either – and *that* definitely needed to be addressed!
As the dust settled on the idea of taking a whole month off, I grew to love our plan more and more. I even booked us a holiday in the sunshine for a week, as part of it.
I wouldn’t be completely switching off. There were accounts to do, some admin, I’d probably keep on top of social media, plus I have my third TEDx talk to driver this month, as well as a speaking gig for a business group.
But… in not booking anything into the diary that wasn’t already there, my time has become my own. I can take a step back, breathe, do some work on my own plans and intentions, and hit the floor refreshed and running in 2020.
Just one more?
In the spirit of honestly, I’ll own up and admit that I did book one extra appointment into the diary. A client I’d been working with for a while needed some last minute help, so I snuck a cheeky extra in, but that’s it. I’m officially on wind down.
Just knowing that I’m taking a break, I can already feel my creativity jump-starting.
Ideas for my own business and future are starting to come to life again, where I hadn’t been giving them space before.
This must be what smokers feel like when they quit and start to get their taste buds back! 😄
Ironically, now I’m relaxing into my break, I’m already looking forward to working with my amazing clients in the new year – not because I’m wishing the time away, but because I know I’ll genuinely be able to serve them to a higher standard and watch them soar to even greater heights when I’m fully refreshed and recharged.
In the meantime, I’m immersing in some much needed family time and enjoying the feeling of not setting my alarm. Cooking good food and enjoying the eating of it. Watching movies with my wife. Walking our dogs. Visiting family. Being silly, for the sake of being silly. Playing some board games. Having adventures. Travel. And all without watching the clock. Perfect.
It might sound counter intuitive, but sometimes we really do need to slow down to speed up.
You might want to consider doing the same!
Until next time,