Biggest Question in the Biz
It’s time to talk about one of the hottest topics among not only jet setting business women like us, but basically the whole professional world: unplugging.
In a time when we expect everything to happen at iPhone-speed, there is a lot of confusion around the idea of consciously choosing to go offline. It seems like the faster our technology moves, the higher the expectations for our productivity. The easier it is to communicate, the more we think we need to be constantly available for the world to see.
At the same time, women entrepreneurs like us have figured out how to use technology to create a revolutionary level of freedom, power, and abundance. As we begin to live that freedom, building our businesses while traveling the world, we might not really know how we should be modeling our lifestyle. We might get so caught up behind our laptops that we don’t feel so free at all.
So it’s no surprise that a lot of my clients ask me: Am I allowed to un-plug? How much work should I be doing? What should my schedule look like? The ones who struggle with it I’ve seen go both ways: either working two hours a day in Santorini and confused as to why they’re not having a seven-figure launch, or tethered to their laptops and claiming they don’t have time to take care of themselves.
Luckily if you’re reading this you can avoid being either. Today I’m sharing with you everything I know when it comes to the art of unplugging. Read on and learn what to be mindful of as you set-off on your next adventure, whether it’s a full-on offline oasis or simply a change of pace.
1 Time Offline Keeps the Passion Alive
Can you unplug completely? Yes. It’s absolutely necessary to do so from time to time—but for a specific amount of time that you’ve scheduled out with your team. If I’ve given you the impression that I travel for weeks and months on end without checking my e-mail, that is not at all my reality. And honestly I don’t think I’d want it to be! Just because I’m not a workaholic doesn’t mean I’m not excited about my business, in love with what I do, or passionate about my vision.
2 The Beauty of Black Out Dates
When I do unplug completely, it’s for a planned out number of vacation days—anywhere from two to five days and the occasional 10 days off. We call these black out dates and everyone on the team is clued in. If I’m on a two week vacation in between bigger projects, then there are definitely some work sessions in there to check in with my team, approve materials, and make sure everything is moving forward. The reality is that when you’re running a company, your team can only go without you so long (at least for the level of my company). Wherever I am in the world, my team will always know exactly when I’ll be available, what I will be available for, and exactly when I’ll be unplugged.
3 Finding Your Travel Groove
People always ask me: do you work full time when you’re on the road? Before I say not always, I have to get real with you—if you dream of being able to work from anywhere, then plenty of the time, that’s what you’re doing—living and working amongst high vibrational travel. However my lifestyle does vary a bit between when I’m at home in Santa Barbara and when I’m spending the summer in Europe. I might not work five days a week in Europe, but I might work six days a week in Santa Barbara. At home I wake up around sunrise, have my morning ritual and work out, and then I’m in the office from 9am-6pm. In Europe, we tend to wake up a little later, enjoy our cappuccinos, take longer lunches, and stay out a little later. But there’s still a structure and a groove to living in Europe that’s different from being on vacation. A change of pace can be really nourishing and if planned out well with your team, shouldn’t be a drain on your business or prevent you from getting the important things done.
4 If it Feels Like You’re Always Working, You’re Doing it Wrong
This one is tough one for many to wrap their heads around, but while I love running my business, that does not mean I want to be constantly working, or that it’s what’s best for the business in the first place. I also firmly believe it’s entirely possible to do everything you need to do, and take the time to play. When I’m working, I always have my evenings and at least part of my weekend. I think what happens so often is that people are not present in the moment, and the lines begin to blur. If you’re often distracted and not getting things done, then working until 8pm or even into the weekend might be the consequence. And if you’re used to pushing deadlines and procrastinating, then you might fail to enjoy your time off because of all that’s constantly hanging over your head. If you don’t learn to be a completer, a great delegator, and develop a laser focus while you’re working, you won’t earn yourself the time to be free in your feminine.
5 Indulge in the Work & the People You Love Most
There is no set formula for how you should run your business and life, you ultimately will have to use your judgment, adjust, and figure out what works for you. Unplugging and escaping looks different for every-one. Sometimes I unplug from certain aspects of my business, and continue to work on the magazine a few hours a day because I enjoy the creativity of it so much, and delight in going through the proofs on my iPad as I lounge by the pool. If it feels good to you, there’s no harm in allowing yourself to work in your flow while taking a vacation. However remember to also prioritize your relationships and social life. If you’re celebrating a birthday or an anniversary, you might want to stay present for the people you love, just as you’d want them to be present for you.