Yesterday, in the middle of half term, we upped sticks and drove to London for a day of art galleries, historic buildings and tea with London based family. The grown up part of our carload was looking forward to a day like this, the youth element less so. But, in the end, everybody really enjoyed themselves and we all came away having learned interesting things, seen some incredible pictures (Bonnard and Munnings if you’re in the area) and buildings and overall really benefitted from a day away from the ordinary. As some of you know already know, I place huge importance in the structure of our everyday lives. It is my firm belief if you get that right, so it is working with you not against you, whatever it is you are trying to achieve will be that much more achievable and your overall quality of life – stress, mental and physical health, sleep, energy, relationships, the lot – will benefit over and over again.
However, sometimes, it is equally important to take a step back from your everyday. This could take many forms. A day like ours yesterday, or a weekend in a new, foreign city. Or a walking holiday in the Lake District. Or making a point of exploring new walks on your home patch. It doesn’t have to be difficult, complicated, extensive or expensive but by taking the time to do something a little bit different now and then you will return home feeling recharged, refocussed, re-energised and ready to go again. There’s an old saying, “A change is as good as a rest”. I think actually a change is better than a rest. A rest means you’ve got to get going again. A change means you move seamlessly back to your obligations and routines but feeling fired up and keen to get on.
Of course, this is all very well but, I hear you cry, it’s too difficult to find the time. Absolutely. But it’s not about ‘finding the right time’ – that doesn’t present itself to you in a sparkly dancing fanfare. It’s about deciding this is what you want to do – by yourself, with friends, with your partner or family – and working out how you are going to do it. Forming a plan. Then just booking that time out. By giving your Time Out the priority it needs, you are valuing it as it should be valued. I suppose it’s an add-on to the daily time management I often coach about. Taking time out to do something new, going somewhere unexplored, learn a new skill, take yourself out of your comfort zone – the rewards are endless. I’m pretty sure most of us don’t do this enough – but that doesn’t mean we can’t make that the first change. After all, the Great Every Day will be waiting for you when you get home.