Lessons of a Vacation

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After a short hiatus, I am back to my regular publishing cycle. I took a few weeks of much-needed and long-overdue vacation time, making my way through the Canadian Rockies out to Kamloops and Vancouver, then down to Seattle and San Francisco.

I look forward to your readership and comments again.

To get us started, a few lessons from vacation (or "holiday", for our British colleagues):

  1. Take a break. Regularly. Truly driven people - consultants, entrepreneurs, executives - have a tendency to be on 24x7x365. If we are not being productive, delivering value, creating, we feel like time is wasted. We need the break to recharge our batteries. We need a few hours each day, a day (or more, if possible) each week, and some real time each year. Humans cannot survive without sleep, nor can we be productive without a change of mind and scenery.
  2. It isn't "all for the vacation." Sure, we love our families, and enjoy our vacation. And sometimes, when we get real time off, we wonder how our "real" lives have become so hectic and harried. But most of us who are driven to work and be productive do it not just to pay for vacation. We are driven to be productive because of our work ethic, because of the value in our work. I may enjoy vacation tremendously, but what drives me is the satisfaction of a client, higher service levels and hence profits, more satisfied customers of mine and, by extension, their customers. Don't fall for the "we just work for the vacation" claptrap; recognize the value of your work for itself.
  3. It's OK to wish vacation could go on. It's hard to return to the real world, and it's OK to be sad about it, but don't let it stop you from returning. You will feel great when you start accomplishing things again.

Vacations are great for themselves, for the perspectives they give you on life, and for the ability they give you to be even better when you return.