Taking a short break to get away for a while, even a simple weekend, works refreshingly well particularly if you go to a new environment and do something that you haven’t done before.

Weekend hideaway

Our March 2009 weekend hideaway

We plan our year with a number of weekend getaways some of them we plan to take the kids and some we don’t. Last night we returned from a great weekend away with the kids and the dogs. (Taking children and dogs certainly adds a few extra dimensions to the weekend).

We rented a great little cottage in the bush, away from everything. The boys played tennis, rode bikes and mucked around with the dogs. The place was fairly close to a lovely river with a great little picnic spot and as our dogs are both Labradors, of course they spent a lot of time playing in the river. (The thought has crossed our minds about going back without the kids!)

Inside our little hideaway

Inside our little hideaway

Even though we had planned this trip to have a break, unfortunately business was top of mind for Janine and myself, (small business can be like that).

Last Friday afternoon we were presented with an significant business decision that we needed to give good consideration to. In normal circumstances we would have done this in the office using the whiteboard to weigh up the pros and cons and make a logical decision about it.

As it happened, we needed to make a decision over the weekend and neither of us generally plan any work on the weekend, so it would have been done in the office quite begrudgingly and it would have felt like we had missed the weekend altogether had we not been in this lovely environment.

Off and on over the weekend, we discussed this business issue as and when we thought of it. Then on Sunday we went for a walk with the specific intention of making a decision on what to do about this. Janine and I sat by the river for some time discussing various scenarios – we were regularly interrupted by the dogs jumping in the river then rushing up and shaking themselves beside us.

It was a very long discussion but here is the interesting thing: we did eventually come to a unanimous agreement but although in many respects we were forced by circumstance to discuss work throughout the weekend, on Monday morning we both feel as though we have had lovely refreshing break.

We did get away, we did spend time with the kids and play with the dogs, we did meet good friends and have some great discussions that weren’t about work and the end result is that because of the complete change of scenery, we both feel refreshed.

So, if you are in small business and you really must work on the weekend – maybe there is a way that you too can mix work and family and still feel like you have had a refreshing break?