To vacation is to unplug, totally (or it should be!)

28 07 2015

“As you grow older, you learn a few things.  One of them is to actually take the time you’ve allotted for vacation.” ~John Battelle

“A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking.” ~Earl Wilson

Our company policy requires that all of us leaders take at least 5 consecutive days of vacation each year.  Why is this?  There are a number of reasons, but one business reason is that we want to know that you have some minimal succession planning in place.  Who are you leaving in charge when you leave?  Who is that name in your out-of-office message saying “if this is an emergency, contact X”.  This also helps to lower the risk that you are, for example, embezzling money from the company.

There’s another risk that this policy reduces:  The risk of burn-out.  It’s unhealthy to be thinking, dreaming, and talking work every day, all year. Un-plug, and enjoy the benefit that vacation is.  I do un-plug for a solid week or 2 every year.  With the rest of my vacation, I may take several long weekends.  On these “mini-vacations”, I am guilty of occasionally checking my e-mail (and I’ve been scolded for it).  None of my leaders are expected to check in while on vacation, but for me, knocking out a few “no brainer” e-mails over coffee on mini-vacation is one way of reducing the stress that is 500 e-mails in the in-box when I return.  How you reduce stress on your vacation is your own call, but be sure that your own way of vacationing is working towards that goal – a stress free period of time in your life.

Speaking of vacation…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.




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