Should I take time off or power through?

 I took a nap under this tree. It was glorious. Napping can be productive too. 

I took a nap under this tree. It was glorious. Napping can be productive too. 

Sometimes, Time Off is More Important than Powering Through

Our lives as artists can often feel so unpredictable that we want to be ready to jump on any opportunity as soon as it peeks around the door. We just don’t know when the next audition will land in our laps or we’ll have a chance to hobnob with important industry folks.

We’re even schooled to understand that “success is when preparation meets opportunity.”

And if that quote rings true for us, we might find ourselves constantly on call, constantly making ourselves available and bending over backwards for any opportunities – however small – that may arise.

Go for the Gold – Just don’t Kill Yourself!

Okay, don’t get me wrong here, actor-friends! I am all for making sure that you’re prepared for your next big break. I am all for setting your sights high and taking risks and going the extra mile to be the best that you can be.

What I’m not for is burning out. Putting every last ounce of energy into your work and leaving nothing for your personal enjoyment. Sacrificing personal relationships so that your can work, work, work.

Put most simply, that’s just not fun at all! Didn’t we choose an actor’s life so that we could follow our bliss in the first place?

This conversation has come up several times in our coaching calls in My BIG Year. Want to join the conversation? Join us for a free trial! 

I recently read Arianna Huffington’s book, Thrive. It’s one of my new favorites because she talks about what it takes to really be successful – and it doesn’t involve killing yourself day after day!

Go on Vacation!

In fact, Arianna talks a lot about taking time off. Resting. She points out that often, we won’t take time off unless we’re seriously ill. Ironically, the serious illnesses are byproducts of chronic stress and over-work. Nasty little cycle there, isn’t it?

Consider taking time off when you’re well so you can actually enjoy it. Enjoy your health, your adventurous spirit, and your love for all things artistic!

Here are some tips I put together just for actors to take a little time off:

1. Schedule a vacation day or two every week where no work is allowed. You can read, pamper yourself, go to museums, sleep in... whatever you want, just so long as the computer stays shut and you’re not working! (If I don't do this, I end up having a sick day instead of a vacation day...and I prefer the latter!) 

2. Schedule a vacation week – that’s right, an entire week – where you escape. Set an email responder telling others that you’ll be unavailable and whatever you do, don’t respond to any emails while you’re away!

3. Enjoy your life. Time away can be as simple as putting together a wine and cheese platter for you and some friends on a Sunday afternoon, or as fancy as spending a week in Napa Valley. Either way, make time to rest!

4. Get enough Sleep. Arianna jokes about sleeping your way to the top. You might think you'd get more done being awake 20 hours a day, but the lack of sleep will make you less productive than working a shorter day with plenty of rest and play added in! 

In fact, I’ll be taking my own advice this week: I’m actually on a much-needed vacation to Hawaii and Japan... so if you email me, don’t be surprised if you get an auto-response in return. (I scheduled this post in advance!)

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