This past week I was in beautiful Vail, Colorado for a little R&R. We hiked, rafted, rode horses, did some mountain biking, and stimulated the local economy via shops and restaurants. If you haven’t experienced Colorado mountains in the summer, I highly recommend the experience!
LEAVING THE OFFICE
I mean REALLY leaving – no phone, no Blackberry(tm), no ‘checking in’. Few of us are so tantamount to the success of our businesses that we have to be in constant contact. So why do so many keep close ties to the work they say they are trying to take a break from?
WHAT IF NO ONE NOTICED
Vacations are a great time to review the work we do, and decide what needs to be done and what can wait until our return. Have you ever forgot to assign/delegate a project/report/etc to someone, and upon returning find out that no one missed it? This should make you ask if you need to continue with that work!
WE ARE DEFINED BY OUR DAILY OUTPUT
Without the proverbial ‘box to ship’ at the end of the day, do you feel productive? “I did 200 emails” – “I was in meetings ALL DAY” – “I was on conference calls the majority of the morning”. Sound familiar? We’re all a bit stubborn like that – willing to do painful, mundane tasks because “That’s my job” instead of questioning the value/validity of the output.
DO WHAT MATTERS
Sort of like Seth Godin’s “strategic quitting” message found in his awesome book, “The Dip”. Learn what you should be doing by listening to your customers. Not sure who your customers are? Start by figuring out who relies on your work; who gets that report or Powerpoint(tm) presentation, etc. Then ask them what they do with your work and how you might improve it. You just might find they have GREAT suggestions that will help both of you.
Remember, part of your benefits package is vacation. Use it! Even if you don’t go anywhere but your local library, step away from the fray and you’ll be refreshed, and just might add more meaning, relevance, and value to your work when you return!