The Importance of Taking Time Off with Javan Bernakevitch – Part 1 – The Pre-Mortem (V237)


What would it be like to take some time off?

Some serious time off.

I am not talking a few days or a long weekend, or even a week or two weeks… I’m talking about a month.

What would it be like to take a month off?

How would that affect your life, and how could that change your life?

In this episode I will be talking to someone right before they take that month off.

It’s Javan Bernakevitch.

We’ll be talking about why he’s doing it, what he’s expecting to get out of it, and how any can benefit from time truly off, even if it isn’t a full month. Then next week you will hear the post-mortem on what that month off was like and what came of it.

Listen to Part 2 with Javan.



Notes from the conversation with Javan:

  • I think there some hard boundaries and some soft boundaries. Then soft boundaries come in before the hard boundaries. One of them was Rob and I run the regenerative business mentorship program and we are just good friends and our fulltime accountability partners to each other in business and just making sure on the things that we want to do. Six or nine months ago, we were chatting and Rob goes we were going August take off.
  • When we are looking at downtime or low times, there are two things we need to do first. First we need to understand why it is important in the first place to start creating boundaries and offenses. Time that is not actually dedicated, about having unscheduled time and this is one of the great mysteries, great secrets. So many of the famous and successful people of the world is take a lot of downtime and that’s because from a very base model conversation, we can get to the neurology but the brain just like the body wasn’t made to work all the time. I think the first and foremost thing the people need to cement in their mind is that you were not meant to run at 24/7 at a 110% full tilt.
  • I work with a number of people these days at some level of addiction and really come down to this question. If you can choose you vice, it’s really not a vice. It’s an indulgence, it’s a self care. But if you vice chooses you, if you can’t stop work, if can’t stop thinking about the latest and greatest. It’s not actually become a vice, it something that you have habituated and gives you a pay off serotonin and endorphins and all of the different drugs that we are actually after with the activities and behaviours we are in. That is a sign that you should start scheduling downtime, low time, no time in the daily conversations. It comes to my understanding years ago, if you don’t have time to meditate in 10 minutes, you need an hour. If you are not comfortable in 10 minutes doing nothing, you need a lot more. They just a hard time not allowing themselves to ascribe value outside of work, if they stop working, they thought they were nothing, they were terrible. It also goes to when we start taking time for our self, we actually build minor self esteem and self confidence because we are taking the thing that we need the most but we feel, we can’t afford to, which is time. This is the most important thing is that ideas do not occur in a crowded mind. There could be squeezing of two ideas together and you are looking at it. But you don’t have that spontaneous eureka moment when all you have is an active loaded brain. There are moments of deep contemplation when the mind “wasn’t engaged” with an external conversation and there is time to rest. It think it is important to realize that generation of ideas and rendering or capturing of ideas can happen in two different times and downtimes start that process.
  • Tons of people who ascribe value to themselves through an externality and that catches up you really quickly, if you are always what you have to do, you always have to be on. You always have to be moving, if you don’t have a sense of who you are as an individual, as a person on how landed in this world. That is the core, of a number, of mental issues I’ve seen with folks and number of limiting believes I’ve seen with folks, that is debilitating conversation. Folks will almost never get out of that if they don’t address it. For business entrepreneurs or sole entrepreneurs, holding everything in your brain all the time, it has a negative effect. It’s like taking the time in terms of motivation, starts with taking little micro downtime, taking small low time.
  • We are what we do consistently. Part of creating fancies is saying “when I am the best of this”. Focused time of either focusing on or not focusing, gives me the recharge of this little moment like I’m not answering emails during this time. I set the boundaries for what does for me, part of being an entrepreneur that is successful and does the things that works for you, taking this moment, building that self confidence and that self esteem.
  • For me, work is work if it you should. There are days when I wake up but I don’t want to do what I do and yet there are days I wake up and I don’t want to do the usual things I do. My criteria over the time off are the zero should or have to this.
  • I go for practice for meditation and I go once a year of ten day silent retreat and so bring that to be in my daily practice. “Good meditator is meditating an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening”. I take a time my mind to settle out, I really mean that. I feel like the turbidity of my mind is directly associated with productivity. More turbid mind doesn’t allow for a high productivity and quality output.
  • After a long break, I started to put into process because that occasion was so incredibly variable in the best thing I did all year. I have orderly occasion and set the thing in catalogue and the rest of it. On a weekly basis where I have three days it varies, just last month I have a half day of relaxation and nothing on the cognitive load. My all time heroes Todd Mcfarlane who change the landscape of comic book and leaving marvel and creating image comics and created the characters span just did so many things that opened up the comic book scene and open it up for comic book artist. Then the change the toy world by creating Mcfarlane toys, he realizes that he was a five ball juggler. In folks in the circus on the metaphor, they know this. I learned the design of I’m a one ball juggler, I design best on the one design of my mind because I think about it all the time. If I have two, three, four land design it attacks my brain, so I learn that I’m a one design client.
  • I think it was great to write centralism and then offer the course in Princeton or Harvard. I realize that everything in my life is up for design and everything has a better place for it to fit than it was currently. Most things in my life were done by default, or by cognitive or cultural programming. I was doing it because I was supposed to do it that way. All on these conversations are taking it from a base model or a base principle perspective and based on the principles from the physics conversation is what the result is. That brought me thinking, when I work best, what am I the best of what I do.
  • So brilliant with looking at it with folks, I basically ask them what is your current cognitive load. If it’s an active looping your brain, it gets out on paper or whiteboard. Every project, every design client, every book I’m reading, every open loop goes upon the board. So I can see what I cognitively open to my brain am and that kind of presentation create a graphic presentation of what’s open for you. The next piece is high grating is important, useful, producing value. It will produce a result, does it mean income, Satisfaction, connectivity with children, connectivity with partner, sense of satisfaction spiritually. It’s itemizing on what’s going on in your life, it’s an inventory. If you haven’t read the “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo  highly recommend you to read it, if you don’t get the physicality of your life. It is a wonderful reminder to take things in your life that are active because they do take mental band width.  Material things take mental band width, projects takes mental band width. Let’s improve the load to the node times in a day and let’s start to put it as a practice. I’m a big fan of what’s easy, so whatever easy put that into practice. You do what’s easy and you do consistently what become who you are.
  • When I was financial adviser, we would do an audit but we are basically tracking on what were spending. When people track their spending, they immediately change their spending habit. You couldn’t stop people because as soon as you saw the leaks on over spending. It will start into stark contrast on what was going on.
  • This is I had in my context for a long a time which is schedule down time or no time. There is a time on my schedule where I have nothing to plan.  Those types of schedule of down times are incredible. There is nothing better than time for mental underling because those time creates the ability to create new idea. You can’t build something in a vacuum. I actually schedule downtime into my schedule weekly, quarterly and yearly. If it’s in schedule, it’s incredible because you will forward to it. Scheduling things in the future is one of the best things to do it. Society is built; society is built to keep you occupied. If you’re occupied, you’re easily handles and domesticated. When you’re occupied, you desensitize to yourself.  Thomas Leonard the founder of Life Coaching Movement [1:20:29] of which he wrote a brilliant book of “24 Secrets of Success” and in the first or two moments is desensitize yourself to the world. Take ought the substances and listen, in that you will realize what’s important to you. This is the reason person who breaks from works, who get layoff, who have a disabling injury.  They have a moment in themselves that they are quite and those moments they realize what’s important. They take the trips that they would always want; during those trips they realize what’s important. When we get down to doing this and taking the time to do this, so much about it is taking that unscheduled time during the week.

Connect with Javan:

Previous podcasts with Javan:

For more information on Javan’s upcoming online course and book visit: All Points Life Design


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