Why we shut down for 3 weeks every year

2011 has been an incredibly busy year. I've enjoyed most of it, except for a brief period in May when I learnt some really hard business lessons - and in hindsight the learnings were hugely positive - so I feel like 2011 was a big year all round and actually, I enjoyed all of it. I got married; my brother Rob (who is also my business partner) got married; we moved offices; Rob took over from me as Managing Director of GetSmarter; I launched 3 new projects, one of which we were quick to cull, and the remaining two are hugely exciting; friends had babies; many friends got married; we hired and fired many people to optimise our team of 45 people; Keri and I flew to Buenos Aires at the last minute to watch Jack Johnson in April; we went to the Maldive on Honeymoon; and... there's more but I think that'll do.

About a week ago I realised how much I needed a holiday.

Fortunately, we shut down for 3 weeks over the festive season every year. And during these three weeks, I don't have to think about daily operations. If i'm not thinking about daily operations, I find I can truly relax. There's nothing in the back of my mind that gets me thinking, there are no ad-hoc meetings to attend, nada. And now I realise how I know that i'm truly relaxed - I sleep for longer than 7 hours. I slept for 11 HOURS a few nights ago. It was such an awesome feeling to wake up after such a solid sleep.

I need time every year where I unwind, slow my pace of living/doing and give myself time to operate differently. I'm loving it. And i'll be more productive for it in 2012.

We'll shut down for 3 weeks every year. Because we can and we should.