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Time off for good behavior

My husband Jamie took off work for two solid weeks over the holiday, but even then, today he shared a rather startling revelation with me: He still lost 60 hours of vacation time in 2010. I was in the middle of creating a weekly schedule for myself in order to practice time blocking in 2011, and I had asked him about vacations, suggesting we schedule time off together- early and often. We’ve got kids in college and young critters at home, so a tight budget and an undisciplined puppy mean we won’t be taking any two week trips to Paris but still, we could easily schedule a morning off on that day, an overnight trip to Indy or Columbus this day, a day trip to watch the ponies run in Kentucky on yet another day. It would be fun just to try to use up 60 hours and not really go anywhere at all.

We had 7 major family celebrations since Thanksgiving. Add a handful of office parties and friends gathering together, and dammit I’m looking forward to Monday. Our obligations to other people pushed hard into our relaxation time this holiday and we all have a bit of holiday fatigue which is really unfair to those people we love, but also it is not a healthy way to begin the trek through the long winter months.

So as I was working out a weekly schedule for real estate related tasks, it occurred to me that I have no option but to combat fatigue of any sort by scheduling some goof off time. The whole reason for creating a schedule is to help me to meet goals and some of my goals are personal. I want to paint again. I want to spend time with my husband and my friends, nurturing some relationships that have gotten a bit weedy lately. I want to poke around some boutiques that I pass by on a regular basis and try out some new coffee shops.  In other words, I want guilt-free time that is mine alone to decide how to use and likely the only way to do that is, ironically, to schedule it into my calendar. Surely I’m not the only one who struggles with this, although today it occurred to me that I probably just need to get over myself. Geez. The world turns without me- so go ahead Lussier, take a day off.

I’m not talking about time for church or the gym or to coach the kid’s soccer team, those seem to be obligatory to most of us. I’m talking about time set aside for yourself for nothing in particular. I know you pros who have been in real estate for years can probably attest to benefits of scheduling time off and vacation time. I was hoping you would share some of the things you do- the big and small things- that help you recharge your batteries on a regular basis. Do you only return calls during certain hours? Do you schedule a weekly date night? I’m wondering, how do you maintain your balance?

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