Recently, I read a book by Julie Morgenstern, the time management guru. She mentions the need that every busy executive (and thatâ€™s all of us!) has for PEP. In her research on how to help stressed business people find balance, she noticed that at least one of three elements were often missing:
- Physical â€“ as in daily exercise â€“ a great stress buster
- Escape â€“ as in doing something that takes your mind completely out of your work
- People â€“ as in spending time with those you love, not just your co-workers
These are all important aspects of life that need to be brought into balance. But what about when we are on holiday?
Having just spent a lot of time in an airplane, I know only too well how little â€śphysicalâ€ť vacation travel often allows. When you change your daily routine by going on holiday, remember that your body has habits, too. If you have a daily work-out (or if you donâ€™t hereâ€™s a great opportunity to start), remember that your body doesnâ€™t look at holiday the same way your mind does. It/you still need that physical exercise. And if you havenâ€™t been exercising daily, remember that an all-day walking tour of Venice just might require a little endurance building before you leave for Italy!
Escape â€“ well hopefully your holiday IS an escape from the grind of the 9-to-5 of daily life. But what about that cell phone? Does your office have your cell number? Can you really â€śescapeâ€ť if you are on the tether of the office phone? If you really want to experience a refreshing escape, you may have to leave that â€śsmartâ€ť phone safely locked in the hotel safe for a day. Besides the usually brief withdrawal, you may find yourself relaxing more than you realized when you â€śescapeâ€ť from being electronically hooked up. You can discover body time and move at a speed and rhythm that brings you into connection with your surrounding and the people who are with you.
Which brings us to the final, â€śPâ€ť in PEP. People. What if your focus for your holiday was on spending quality time with the people you love, really getting to know them in a different context than who is going to do the grocery shopping or pick the kids up from school? Too often we are seduced into substituting an idealized (and expensive!) CondĂ© Nast itinerary for a simpler vacation that allows us to spend time with those we love. What will be more rewarding when you get home â€“ shared moments with your loved ones or the 20 tiny pictures of some distant sunset on your cell phone?
Itâ€™s summer time. Take Juliaâ€™s advice and include some PEP in your life, not just for work but on your holiday, too!