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Adii Pienaar

Now working on Receiptful. Co-Founder & ex-CEO of WooThemes. Author of Brandiing. New Dad. Ex-Rockstar.

How To Take a Holiday

I don't know about you, but I'm incredibly bad at taking time off and just switching off (from work). Which means I'm equally bad at taking a proper holiday.

This is mostly due to the fact that [my mind is always busy](I don't know about you, but I'm incredibly bad at), which makes it difficult for me to just spend time in the moment, doing whatever I'm doing right then / there.

I've taken a couple of holidays (and trips) with my wife in the last couple of years though and I've come up with a couple of "rules" to help me be better at taking proper holidays (and actually switching off and getting some rest).

This is how to take holidays (as an entrepreneur):

  1. Book trips months in advance and pay for it up-front (as much as you can). This makes it difficult to delay your trips or even back out of it.
  2. Go to some place where you ideally don't have broadband access. Alternatively go somewhere where the broadband is so excruciatingly slow that it's really shitty to get work done.
  3. Fill your days with loads of activities. This serves as a distraction from work.
  4. When you are out on day trips, leave your smartphone at the hotel. This is hard, because it's really convenient having things like Maps and Google to help you out, but not having it around forces you to stay disconnected.
  5. Leave your computer at home. This is the best way to avoid real work. Sure, you might take a tablet, but doing real work on a tablet is inefficient and shitty.
  6. Read actual books or get a Kindle. I absolutely love my iPad Mini and I always take it along on holidays to get some reading done. But I constantly find myself checking into e-mail or social media.
  7. When you are reading, avoid reading anything related to you work. Ideally you should be reading fiction, which mostly means anything except Harry Potter or 50 Shades of Grey qualifies as good reads.

I've by no means perfected my own blueprint, but doing these things have definitely helped me to switch off more on holidays and thus allowed me to come back refreshed. Which was the #1 goal of the holiday to start...

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