Why My Summer Vacation Was a Total Failure – and Why it Really Wasn’t

This month, I officially celebrate my first 6 months as a freelancer. Surprisingly enough, one of the reasons I quit my day job and went the self-employed route was because I wanted to work less, not more. I don’t want to get rich sacrificing my personal life. I just want to achieve a balance.

So this year, I’ve done the unthinkable: I gave myself a full month of vacation time. August is a (really) slow month in Greece anyway, since temperatures have the bad habit of raising to and beyond 30C (~90F). Surely not an appropriate environment for slaving in front of a text editor.

The moment my vacation started, I thought I was in heaven – one full month without commitments, apart from a 9-day trip to UK? You’re kidding me, right? I felt like a schoolgirl again.

However, these idyllic days now belong to the past. As any good thing (insert horrible cliché here), they’re history. And I find myself struggling to get back to work, starting one of my favourite months of the year.

So what have I learnt from this one-month sabbatical? I keep reminding myself these three things:

  • When you’re busy making plans, life is busy passing by. Stop making plans. Never stop doing things and having fun.
  • There’s never enough procrastination. You’ll never bore yourself surfing the shiny ‘nets. It’s in your hands to put an end to your ever-worsening ADHD.
  • Don’t leave any “someday/maybe” plans for your vacation. Vacation time should strictly be time off. Your body won’t let you work anyway.

I was planning to finish my portfolio page this month. Liven up my blog. Work on various personal projects. Improve my web design knowledge and practice.

Instead, what have I done? Nothing really. Read about 9 fiction books, walked around most of London, got a slight tan, went to a kickass beach party and visited relatives & family. Also started a tiny vidcast. And that’s it.

Will I try this prolonged vacation again? Most probably, yes. Maybe even more. But I’ll start my future vacation thinking about what I won’t do and not about what I’ll do.

That’s always a more realistic point of view, I think.

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