I took a virtual European holiday

Jeni Clift

Last week, for the first time since January 2020, I took a week off. Like many people I had been in the “I can’t go anywhere so I may as well work” mindset and as a business owner “I need to support my team by being there for them”. But, after hosting a virtual event as Learning Chair for EO (Entrepreneurs Organisation) Melbourne chapter with Katerina Papamarkou on the topic of Burnout, I realized that I was badly in need of some time away from the office.

We had taken a few days off here and there, and a week to move house – definitely not a holiday! But we were always checking emails, Slack messages, staying in touch with work.

We had actually planned a few days away.  As we are based in Geelong we are classed as regional Victoria and we had been out of lockdown for a couple of weeks.  Our accommodation was booked for a roadtrip within Victoria and it was all on track until last Saturday when we were plunged back into lockdown. Oh well! Maybe next time…

So we had a week off at home and decided to do a “virtual European tour”. We researched countries to visit, ensuring we planned the trip well to minimize the time spent in the (virtual) air, quite important when you live in Australia and pretty much everywhere is a long haul flight away!

We settled on Spain, then Portugal, Italy and Germany with a stopover in Singapore on the way home.

We found recipes, local drinks and either tv shows or movies about the country or set in the country we visited. Paella & sangria for Spain, Chicken Tariq with some Portuguese wines, pasta with Italian wines. We found some really great cooking/food/travel shows like Somebody Feed Phil and Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain along with some really good movies and a couple that were so bad we couldn’t even finish watching them ☹

We deliberately stayed out of our home office, we didn’t check emails, logged out of Slack and left calls to go to voicemail.

We did spend half of one day working on our personal Vision/Traction Organiser, one of the EOS tools, reviewing our 10 Year Target, then working backwards down to the 1 Year Plan and our quarterly Rocks or priorities.

By the end of the week we were feeling refreshed, it almost felt like we had been away – without the airport queues, the long haul flights or 2 week quarantine at each end! Our biggest concern was how we would get through Monday without an afternoon nap, definitely the sign of a good holiday in my book.

With much of the population on the east coast of Australia in lockdown, with no date in sight for it to end, my message is  “This too shall pass!”   Do what you can to make the best of this situation. Use the tools available to you. As they say in the pre flight safety briefing – Put YOUR oxygen mask on first…

Take some time off, use the out of office tool, voicemail, or maybe even turn the phone off. “Flight mode” on your phone is a great option too! Get creative, if you can’t actually get away what can you do to ensure that you don’t end up working? We used a couple of the EOS tools, the Vision Traction Organiser to review and re-focus on our long and short term personal goals. We have set a time for our weekly L10 meeting, another EOS tool, for my husband & I to ensure that we are staying connected and on track to achieve those goals.

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