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Vacation = Better Productivity?

(4) Comments | by Cheryl Smith |

I was recently chatting with a friend of mine who had just written a blog about the fact that vacations no longer exist.  The essence of his argument was that we are always connected - email, smart phone, phone calls.  Hence we never really take a vacation.  Not one like we did back when we both started working in the 80s, prior to this new age of connectivity. 

If you Google vacations and productivity you will find many articles specifically about Americans and our inability to truly take a vacation.  There are numerous studies that site the benefits of turning everything off and taking a real vacation – reduced stress, leads to less doctor visits, happier employees and even improved productivity.

So with these thoughts, I decided to take a full week of vacation and not work at all.  This was the first time I haven done this in over 15 years.  I never opened my laptop and set my smart phone email to only bring in my personal emails, I ignored any work phone calls that came my way, I truly disconnected from my work world. 

The RESULT..... it was the MOST relaxing vacation I have had in years and I came back last week feeling fully refreshed and with a very positive mindset.  My colleagues will have to tell you if I am now more productive.  I personally feel much better.   And by the way…..the world didn’t come to an end.   I did have 278 emails to dig through, but I did so with a smile on my face!!!


  1. {{|e}}'s avatar
    Gray Rinehart
    | Permalink

    I agree, it’s hard to get away and really be “away”—good for you!


  2. {{|e}}'s avatar
    Geoff Hughes
    | Permalink

    I agree on 100% with you that one proper vacation will definitely lead to better productivity afterwards. If you are constantly checking your mails and picking up you phone every time a colleague from work is calling, it will be not a holiday at all. To be honest I still can’t believe that Matt Cuts (Google’s webspam department boss) is going in such a long vacation and he is not going to check his emails at all?! And here we are not speaking for one or two weeks, even it is not a month, it is a couple of months!!! I believe it will be one pretty good holiday for him :) I am about to try it as well next month, but of course not for that long time. But still I intend not to pick up my phone at all.

  3. {{|e}}'s avatar
    Bethany Thomson
    | Permalink

    I totally agree with you, Cheryl. We don’t take real vacations because we’re afraid to turn off our e-mail, smartphone, etc. This is called the “fear of missing out”. Even on the beach we keep checking out your e-mail or our Facebook. We just need to stop and spend a few days in doing nothing, but enjoying ourselves.

  4. {{|e}}'s avatar
    Adam Barnett
    | Permalink

    Vacation starts when you leave your phone. We are always online on our smartphones, always aware of what’s going on with all our 500 “friends”... it’s just not working this way!

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