The new year is upon us and we all know what that can mean — champagne, resolutions, bowl games, and for some the last days of a holiday season vacation.
I’m always surprised by the range of responses to taking a few days off. There are some who jump at the chance to get away but there are also those who relish in a quiet setting while co-workers are gone and those who panic at the idea of time away from the office. For me, vacation is essential. I use the time to sleep in, to read, to visit with family and friends, and to prepare for whatever might be ahead. For those of you who find it difficult to get away (if, in fact, you aren’t too busy to read this), here are a few ways to reconsider vacation time:
1. Your work or your business will still be there. When I was graduating from high school, my father gave me a copy of Lee Iacocca’s autobiography. I believe the single thing that I remember about the former Chairman of Chrysler Motors was that he had little respect for leaders who couldn’t plan well enough to schedule time away. Sure, things happen that disrupt schedules but really, work will still be there when you return.
2. Sharpen the Saw. Another book received years ago contained wise advise from the late, Steven Covey. I have a small pictorial of Covey’s seven habits tacked over my computer at the office. One of those seven, is the concept of sharpening the saw or working to find balance. Balance is something that is perpetually discussed especially amongst working women but I have found that I have to be deliberate in scheduling it. Some of us love to work and that’s not a bad thing but the reality is that taking time away to refresh is not only fun but we return even more ready to go and excel.
3. Keep Learning. Vacations are the perfect time to read for fun or to catch up on something that we’ve been meaning to understand. It’s also a good time to reach out and meet people. Are there other bloggers that reside in the area you’re visiting? Reach out. Exploring a new area means meeting the people too and who knows what those new relationships might lead to?
4. Think. My vacations work perfectly as time for reflection on my life and my goals. I often think about the previous year and what went well but also about what I wished had been different. It’s also a time for deep thinking about what I want to accomplish with my family and in my work. What will I read? Where will we travel? I especially seek out the nexus of those things that I am passionate about and where I can make an impact. Do my actions demonstrate my priorities?
5. Put things into perspective. By stepping away, I have often found that my view has changed when I return. Problems don’t seem nearly the issues that they were before my vacation. Sometimes, they’ve diminished greatly or even disappeared.
I’m certain that there is are more reasons than I have listed here but regardless, I trust you’ve all had some time off and ready to embrace the New Year!
Happy 2015 to each and every one of you! May it bring you joy and health.