I just got back from two weeks at the beach. It was wonderful although my wife warned me that my Facebook friends were probably getting tired all of the pictures I posted showing the crabs I caught that were waiting to become dinner that night. I was very intention about ‘being on vacation’ the first week. For me that means avoiding real work at almost all costs. No email. I need to do that once or twice a year. I kept up the second week but would be lying if I said I worked a normal schedule. I made sure to enjoy time with family and friends and I took some time for myself. Like I said; it was great.
What does your downtime look like?
Most of us take vacation. We’ve read countless articles telling us how important it is. We all know that it’s not great to be tied to our devices 24X7 at night and on the weekends. We know it. So I won’t try to convince you. But most people simply don’t disconnect often enough and some people never seem to do it.
What keeps people from disconnecting?
I suppose there are lots of reasons. I saw a tweet from @BuckWoody shortly after I came back from vacation that shared this quote:
“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important.” – Bertrand Russell
There’s a lot of truth to that sentiment. You work isn’t as important as you sometimes want to think and your career should never become your identity.
What happens if you’re a manager and you have key people that really and truly can’t be disconnected on a regular basis because they are that important? You’re probably a bad manager and not doing your job well. What happens if you have a job that simple doesn’t allow you to ever be disconnected. Find a new job. Life’s too short. Years or decades might go by before you regret the time you wasted but eventually you’ll realize living your life that way sucked and you’ll regret it.
What does your down time look like? How important do you think your work is?