It's important to give yourself a break!

posted February 28, 2017

The Importance of Disconnecting

Hillary Painter

I got 99 problems but my hustle ain’t one.

One of my problems, however, is disconnecting. Hustle game has to be strong when you’re in the competitive ad agency world. But the people with the best game know the importance of taking a vacation and truly disconnecting to unwind and recharge. It’s not just forgetting about work for a period of time—it’s about allowing your mind to go somewhere else. That somewhere else might provide inspiration, spark a great idea for your client, or at the very minimum, provide some much needed rest.

In our industry, being busy is a great problem to have. Being busy and burnt out, however, is not.

Client meetings all day, work at night, exercise, making time for family, friends and loved ones, not to mention yourself—it can be overwhelming.

BREATHE!

That’s something I hear often and it’s always when I’m reflecting on the millions of things I haven’t had a chance to address. Insert the need for work-life balance, and the first step in helping reset can be a vacation.

I recently took a vacation to the Bahamas and wanted to ensure I would be able to check in and be reachable, so I asked to add an International plan for the duration of my trip. That is, I thought I asked to add the plan. I landed in the Caribbean to find that my data plan wasn’t activated. Odd. I got to the resort and connected to Wi-Fi to find a few messages from my coworkers but with the last one saying things were handled. Sigh of relief. I checked my company Slack account as well and realized my message to my coworker to activate my International plan never sent. I thought, you know what, I’m going to enjoy not having access 24/7 and actually disconnect. So I did.

Before disconnecting completely, I did manage to take one picture and post it to social media as proof that I was alive and experiencing tropical paradise. After that single post, I disconnected. And you know what? Nobody died, the world didn’t end, my accounts were still running smoothly, and I was able to sleep in and actually be present in everything I was experiencing on vacation.

I didn’t come back from my vacation with a new idea for one of my clients, but I did come back rested, with a newer perspective, and as a result, more productivity at the office. I’m still working on this work-life balance thing (maybe a new blog post to come), but in the meantime, vacation proved to be a first step in reclaiming my clarity. I highly recommend everyone schedule their next vacation to do the same—your friends, family and coworkers will thank you.