A work fast (not a vacation): The goal of a fresh perspective

I recently had surgery and it was awesome.

Not the surgery itself, mind you. That wasn’t fun, and the recovery has taken a couple of weeks. (It was gastro-intestinal, so everything from what I consumed to the simple art of sitting up had to be addressed.)

The recovery forced bed rest. But I had things to do, I still had my brain (in fact, sharp as can be since I stopped sipping wine days before the surgery), and I had a checklist of things to do.

I had seven days of a complete change of routine. And during those seven days, I knocked out projects like a madman. I got caught up on some long-avoided emails. I organized my calendar for the next five months. I laid the foundation of a new business and outlined all the details. I bought some new software and updated all my websites.

And I also rested. I rested more than I ever have before. Hours of just laying in bed, thinking. (When I’m on vacation I usually don’t rest, because I’m busy seeing things and trying to extract the maximum amount of fun and experience out of a day. So this type of bed rest was a new thing for me.)

Then after seven days, I went back to ‘normal’ and that’s when it really got interesting.

My newly-minted fresh perspective allowed me to see just how much time I was wasting before with:

  • Meetings that didn’t need to be in person.
  • Dilly-dallying around for hours until I felt ‘ready to engage with the world’
  • Phone call interruptions (self-imposed, by simply answering the phone)
  • Saying yes to commitments in the future that I knew I would regret later
  • Deciding the day was done early because I was “having a productive day”

I saw all of this is because of my break in routine. A break in routine that was not a vacation.

You don’t need to have surgery to do this yourself. Open your calendar, pick three or four or five contiguous days in the next month or two, move whatever meetings you need to move to clear out your time, and then on those days focus on what you know deep down you need to focus on more: yourself and your future.

This will be a workweek, not a vacation. And all the work you do, 100% of it, is about catching up a bit, realizing the opportunities and advantages you have, then building structure for future success.

Turn the phone off. No in-person meetings. No social media. If you want to push yourself a bit, at the same time change your diet and cut out the wine. You’ll feel the challenge in your brain, heart, and body, but if it’s only five days you’ll get through it.

I found this was an amazing way to grow and feel closer to ‘the next level’ (whatever that means). Some diet gurus go on a food fast to change their relationship and perspectives on food and health. Think of this as your “work fast.”

And trust me, it works.

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