When will you take your vacation in 2017?
During a vacation several years ago I came up with an exciting new coaching program (Value Program) for my business. I wasn’t planning to do this on my vacation. I hadn’t set aside some work time at my computer. I hadn’t even brought a notebook to jot down ideas. I really didn’t expect to have any notable thoughts! It just happened as I took my regular morning walk each day. The ideas just flowed in.
When I returned from my walk I wrote my thoughts on a sheet of paper and tucked it in my suitcase. This happened for all 7 days that I was on vacation.
Before I was self-employed I traveled to Europe for a vacation. Traveling that far meant that I left my work for a week or two.
The first time I did it, one of the owners of the small company I was working for was really annoyed with me. I was entitled to the time off but he would have preferred that I not take my vacation time. He measured my commitment to the job in terms of hours that I spent working. Needless to say knowing he was angry with me did not make me happy at work. Shortly after my vacation we had a layoff and of course I was one of the people laid off!
The second time I took a European vacation I was away for two weeks in Greece but called my office regularly to be sure nothing came up that I needed to handle. My first experience had made me nervous about job security and so I figured that although I had the vacation time, my work and my job must come first. So all during my corporate years I always brought my work with me when I went on vacation.
One of the “benefits” of coaching by phone is that you can do it from anywhere. I could do my coaching from wherever I was vacationing. But it doesn’t really feel like a vacation if you bring your work with you so I don’t do it.
There is a strong work ethic in the US and like any strength it has its downside too. My experience 10 years ago when I developed a program with no effort as I took a leisurely walk has shown me that by working long hours and not taking vacations I probably sacrificed my creativity. Without a relaxing regular vacation stress levels are higher and health and creativity are compromised.
One coach I know recommends that as soon as you get a new calendar for the year you put your vacations on it. One friend of mine claims that she will get the work done no matter what time is allotted. She says she stretches her work out when she has a lot of time and manages to get it done when time is short. Do you do this? Until she mentioned it I never thought about it. Now I notice that I do that too!
As we approach the end of the year and you are making your plans for 2017, why not put your vacations on your calendar. If you are allowed to take 3 weeks of vacation, make sure you put in all 3 weeks. ( Take Back Your Time (<http://www.timeday.org>) is an organization that encourages Americans to use their vacation time for vacations. You’ll find interesting articles on their website about the importance of a vacation.)
Christmas and New Year’s Day come on Sunday this year. I hope you will take an extra day or two to extend the holiday. That way you will end this year and begin the next relaxing with friends and family, spending the day by yourself reading or engaging in a sport or hobby. Maybe that will lead to a less stressful, more enjoyable 2017.
Relax and enjoy the holidays!!