Since my first job as a secretary and data tech back in the 1980’s, I have been working on computers.  When your computer freezes up – you call IT. Inevitably the first thing you hear – “Did you try turning it off and back on?” You do that and it comes back on and works fine. “What was wrong?” The IT person responds, “it needed a reset”.
 
As you know, I just came back from two weeks on vacation. The first time I took an extended getaway was in 2021. The AWC board recommended I go to rejuvenate after basically running with a 25% employee for a year. I was overworked and understimulated. I remember looking at Keia (our board president at the time), when she said I wasn’t allowed to take my work phone with me, like she was nuts. Then I lunched with a trusted longtime industry friend who told me not to even look at my emails. WHAT??? Had the world gone mad? How could everything not crumble?  
 
I listened to the advice and took a 15 day vacation. I learned a few things in 2021. I learned that it takes time to start to reset. The first five days were just getting our bearings and finding our way around. The next five days we were enjoying our vacation and finding cool new things to do and places to go. It was the last five days that my brain began to recharge. I didn’t think about what was happening in Minnesota or at the office. What I did think about was me, my life, my career goals and if I was feeling fulfilled. When I returned AWC was still standing and I had a new level of energy to jump back in.  
 
This year’s vacation was a bit different. For starters I had done this before so I was able to get to the recharge phase a bit earlier. I have Anna this year, so my worry about AWC was significantly reduced. I had to work on this vacation a bit – the price escalation focus couldn’t just be set aside, but that is the only issue I allowed myself to engage in. The biggest change is that this year I had a plan to Reset. I have a podcast that centered me each morning on the beach.  I planned out my vacation reading – start with a fictional read, followed by a self reflection read, followed by a lighter fictional read. I spent ZERO minutes on television or news. I went to bed early and walked a lot.   
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I realize that a two week vacation is a luxury most of the business owners can’t afford to partake in. That said I firmly believe you can and MUST find the reset button – it doesn’t need to be 2 weeks but it does need to be intentional. So here are some tips:
 
    • Plan it. Don’t just take a week or even a long weekend and hope you recharge. Tell yourself the intent is to reset. 
    • Think about what you need personally to do that. For some it means quality kid time, for others it means quiet time for their brain. Write it down and make it your plan. 
    • No NEWS or TV time. 
    • Breathe in Nature – whether it is walking, biking, floating on the water, picking up rocks – whatever it is find time in nature to just breathe. 
    • Sleep. Find a way to fully rest your body too.  
    • If you need to work, find a schedule and stick to it. Only allow for 2 hours to work and set an alarm. Nothing will blow up in 24 hours. You deserve this time. 
 
My advice to you all – even with the high construction season upon us – you need to turn yourself off, wait and then restart yourself. Just like your computer, phone, or cable box – you too will work better if and more efficiently if you RESET. 

—B