Success and Disconnecting

Keeping your nose to the grindstone is not necessarily the best way to excel at your job. The trick is to occasionally get outside and refocus your brain.

by Jack Penland

Why take a couple of days off and go somewhere when you have lots of “stuff” pressing in your life and career? Researchers are finding that disconnecting is a way to be able to calm your brain before refocusing on the issues that stress your brain. A great way for people, especially those from Vancouver to Seattle to disconnect, is escaping to Whidbey and Camano islands for a few days.

Travis Bradberry is the coauthor of a book called, “Emotional Intelligence 2.0,” and his company, TalentSmart, researches and trains people in the idea of how your emotions impact both your business and personal life.

He distilled much of his writing in a LinkedIn Post called, “How Successful People Stay Calm.” At least two of the points he lists gets us on Whidbey or Camano for a long weekend.

The first point is “Disconnect.” He writes, “Forcing yourself offline and even—gulp!—turning off your phone gives your body a break from a constant source of stress.”

The second is, “Reframe your perspective.” He talks about everything from, “unforgiving bosses,” to traffic piling on to create stress.

Escaping for three or four days to our islands is a great way to do these things. There’s something about getting away to an island that somehow amplifies the idea that you’ve gotten away from it all.

The slower pace, especially when you schedule your trip outside the busy tourist season, gives you the fresh perspective to see that there is a real world that isn’t defined by performance evaluations and organization charts. Walks, especially along the trails or beaches will give you the opportunity to disconnect, ignore your mental debris, and give your brain the chance to recharge.

Hedgebrook, Whidbey Island’s rural retreat for women writers, exemplifies this, and attracts women from all over the world who need to unplug from their lives so their brains can be freed to write.

But, you don’t need to be a world traveler to head here. Whidbey and Camano work really well for long weekends for people living in the Vancouver, Seattle and Portland corridor, because driving lets you avoid the stress that comes with today’s big-city airports and fee-crazy airlines.

So, if your personal goal is to dominate the corporate world, or just improving your small business’s bottom line, take time to nurture your emotional intelligence and remember that our islands offer a good way to help.

If you’d like to read more about Bradberry’s, “How Successful People Stay Calm,” you can do so here.

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