It’s not vacation if you’re working

It’s not vacation if you’re working

We’re really bad at relaxing. More than half of Americans check their work email while on vacation, according to a recent Motorola Mobility survey. But taking a real vacation is important to your well-being.

Break your always-working habit with these tactics:

  • End the addiction—to you. If your team can’t function for a few days without you, that’s a powerful signal that something is wrong. Are you guilty of micromanaging, forcing your staff to come to you for everything? Have you failed to empower your team, giving them a level of authority to act within the scope of their own areas of expertise? Is there a serious skills gap that requires training your staff?
  • Schedule around natural breaks. Of course there are times when you need to be at work. Identify times when the demands ease, such as just after you complete a major project. That’s a great time for a break.
  • Force yourself to unplug. Despite the prevalence of mobile phones, places still exist where you can’t connect. Consider one of those for your next vacation. Don’t pack the laptop either.
  • Imagine the worst case. What would happen if you lapsed into a coma? Would your organization fail? Probably not. It might not thrive as well as when you are working, but few of us are indispensible.

So if you haven’t already taken a vacation this summer, schedule time off on your calendar now. Start arranging your schedule to tie up loose ends before you leave, and train your staff to operate confidently without you. Don’t be the parent at the amusement park checking work email and voice mail.

Our Readers Tell Us!
Sources of inspiration
In our previous issue we asked readers to share their strategies for spurring creativity. Paul Casey, executive minister at Central Church in Richland, Wash., sent several:

  • Trying something new each month.
  • Subscribing to the “Accidental Creative” podcast.
  • Attending conferences and applying ideas presented there to his organization.
  • Seeing everything and everyone as a creative resource.

Jean Moffitt, administrative officer at Scope Aircraft Finance in Columbus, Ohio, encourages people to “seek out someone with a creative side that can bring a few ‘crazy ideas’ to the brainstorming session. He or she will help you get your creative juices flowing, and possibly remove some stodgy old paradigms!”

“When our company wanted to improve its marketing techniques and message, we called in an expert, Don ‘The Idea Guy’ Snyder … whenever I want to heat up our marketing message, I go to his website or blog and spend a few minutes there.”

Lead your staff to the next level. Discover three practices to do that in this month’s Effective Leadership section at

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1 Response to It’s not vacation if you’re working

  1. Pingback: The vacation dilemma: to unplug from the office or not | The Organized Executive's Blog

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