Trying to Focus After Taking a Break?

vacation

Post #42  Getting Back After Break

 I have taken a break from writing for the last 3 weeks.  I have also taken a break from working in my own full time business.  And guess what?  There have been moments when I struggle to focus and to get my mind out of vacation mode.  If you are trying to motivate yourself after some time away, I want you to know that even adults like me have similar issues.

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What I Did During my Break

The beginning of June started out with a bang.  I was on fire working toward my full-time business.  I am a coach who works with engineers (and other professionals) as they struggle to decide on a future career path.  Your own career path may not always be evident but that topic is for another post.  Come mid-June, I had to force myself to get out of working mode and into vacation mode.  My siblings and I decided to take our parents to Las Vegas since it is my mom’s favorite place in the world.  For a moment on the plane ride, I had a sense of guilt that I was leaving my work behind.  However, I had to remember that everybody needs a break at various points during their career.  I decided there on the plane that I was going to enjoy my vacation, enjoy my time with family and not think about work.  And not feel one bit of guilt about it.  My vacation served its purpose since I was able to allow my mind to be completely free and live spontaneously.

Why Breaks are Necessary

Why do we sometimes feel guilty for taking time off?  Whether you’re a student or a mom or a working professional, we tend to get caught up in our duties.  People can become so engrossed in their goals or their work that they forget they are humans.  How many times have you felt like you almost had to be a superhero to complete your long to-do list?  While it is great to be motivated and focused on goals, there comes a time when we all need to mentally check out.  When you can step away from your work or studies for several days, your mind has a chance to recalibrate itself.  What I mean is that you can declutter your brain with a mental vacation and you can return with new perspectives.  Just like we need to clean out our closets and our cars, we need to clean out our brains to make room for improvements.  After time away, you may come back to your work and see things differently, feel differently or create new ideas.  I personally believe it is important to intermittently allow your brain time for rest.

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How I’m Choosing to Refocus

Now that I am back, now that my brain has had some time off, it is still fighting to be in vacation mode.  If I allow my mind to wander, it is taking me back to the hot, sunny days of being on vacation.  If I don’t allow my brain to wander, I find that I’m more motived than ever.  If I think deliberately, there are old ideas and new ideas I am getting excited about.  It is thrilling to think about the things I am creating for my future.  I have essentially given my brain a chance to “start over”, almost as if everything I am doing with my work is new.  The trick here is that I am directing my brain to think purposefully.  I must be aware that my brain is not allowed to simply think on its own.  Very little would get accomplished unless I deliberately think in meaningful ways.  Try it out for yourself.  Think on purpose and think with intent instead of just allowing your brain to be.

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