I’ve always believed in the power of shaking up your routine. In between jobs, before founding Limeade in 2006, my family and I took a six-week drive from Seattle to Albuquerque to LA to Seattle – and all parks in between. I returned refreshed and excited about the future. Ten years later, I realized how obsessed (mostly – but not always – in a good way) I’ve been with work, and how shocked at how fast my children were growing up. I also noticed how I was developing routines at work and in life.
And routines are made to be questioned – they can inhibit creativity, productivity, spontaneity, innovation and team empowerment.
I’ve been back for two weeks now after spending a month working remotely – and differently – in Southern California with my family, and am reveling in the benefits of this break in routine. I’ve changed some habits, am working better with my team and have a fresh set of goals. I encourage you all to break up your routines.
13 reasons why working remotely from Southern California worked for me:
1. Passion allocation. I was 100% conscious of how I spent my energy. I identified ways to invest my passions where I add the most incremental value – where my skills match up with the challenges we – as a family and as a business – face.
2. See who steps up. I need to know who will step up when I’m not around. And who needs the most help. I can’t guess.
3. Fish tacos.
4. Time allocation. Leaving the office helped me see the few areas where I’m indispensable – and the dozens I’m not.
5. Values assessment. Breaking my routines made me take a hard look at what I really value.
6. Love. My kids are only 15, 12 and 9 once. Quality time matters, and we will remember our time together more than anything that happens at my work.
7. 75 degrees and sunny. With a light ocean breeze. Every day. Never underestimate the power of Vitamin D.
8. Fresh perspective. New people and places taught me new things. I met people outside of my rat race. They taught my son to surf, befriended my dog and talked to me like a friend – without an agenda.
9. Time and space. Taking time away from the office created perspective on where to spend my time and take our business.
10. Surf and sand. Ending every day with a walk in the sand and a swim in the ocean is totally compatible with working hard.
11. Micromanagement begone. Good and bad things happened without me in the office – just like they do when I’m there. I appreciate my team and all LimeMates more and hope I will give them the time and space they need to thrive.
12. Gratitude. I loved stepping back to appreciate my team and all that we’ve accomplished together. Sharing this gratitude with all the people at Limeade is a good and humbling thing.
13. More love. I appreciate my wife, and remember why I got married 20 years ago. I see with fresh eyes what a rock (and rockstar) she is, and what she gives to let all of us live such full lives.