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!!!