Have you ever gone on a retreat? In this episode of The Productive Woman, we're talking about how getting away (even for just a short time) can help us move forward toward more productive lives.
Getting away for a retreat can be the perfect opportunity to move forward toward your most cherished goals
As I’m recording this, I recently hosted the first-ever The Productive Woman planning retreat. Four women from the TPW community joined me at my home in Texas for a few days of quiet thought and planning for the coming year. It was a great experience for me, as I “retreated” right along with them, spending time thinking about and working on my own plans for the coming year.
As I’ve been reflecting on the experience, I’ve thought about the value of getting away from time to time--stepping away from our day-to-day lives for a short period.
Why it’s important
* Creating a meaningfully productive life requires intention and attention, which is sometimes hard to come by in the midst of our daily lives. Getting away can help, whether to plan a specific project or to create a life plan or yearly goals.
* There is value in solitude, as we talked about in episode 366 discussion of Cal Newport’s book, Digital Minimalism.
* Clarity. Time spent thinking deeply about what’s important to you can lead to a clearer vision of what you want and what you need to do to get it.
* Restoration. Time away from day-to-day stresses and obligations, perhaps spend time in nature, sleeping in, taking naps, or just relaxing by the pool or in your space.
* Perspective. Taking a step back, especially with a change of scenery, can help you see things in a new way.
* Community (if you're getting away with others) -- someone to brainstorm with, perhaps hold each other accountable.
Options to consider (there are lots of different ways to do this and all have potential benefits):
* Alone or with others (small or larger group)
* Timing--a few hours to a few days or more. Although a longer period is good as it allows more time to wind down and focus, even a few hours--a half-day at Starbuck or the public library--can make a big difference
* “Themed” or general retreats. By themed I mean for a particular type of activity--writing, a friend does an annual quilting retreat with the women in her family, wellness-focused, spirituality, etc.
* Guided or self-designed
Retreat center (often beautiful locations with gorgeous nature surroundings--ocean, lake, forest, desert--that can contribute to getting the focus you need; might have programs to help guide your time; might include meals) -- I googled “retreat centers near me” and “where can I go for a retreat” and came up with several possibilities
Hotel (privacy, away from home, room service, maybe other amenities, like a pool or spa) either near home or at a destination
Air BnB (can be less expensive; lots of types of locations to choose from, again, either near home or at a destination)
Trade homes with a friend nearby or in another state or country (I think of the movie, The Holiday, in which Cameron Diaz in Los Angeles and Kate Winslet in England trade homes for the Christmas holidays, and the change in location does them both good)
Retreats or getaways I’ve done:
* Years ago when all the kids were home,