Vacations are necessities for renewing energy and generating new perspectives. Last week, I enjoyed time off with my family at one of our favorite vacation destinations and came back refreshed. On the trip, I found myself reflecting on the ability to disconnect. Compared to vacations two years ago, the ease and the pull to stay connected was much greater for me and my entire family. With the increased use of smartphones and social media, I believe disconnecting has become more of an art than a science. It’s more difficult, but more important than ever.
Today, 61 percent plan to work on vacation. About 38 percent will read work-related emails, 30 percent will receive work-related calls and 32 percent will access work-related documents on work/home computers. The stats are accurate and based on them I would give myself a B- on disconnecting. Vacations provide a good time for reflection and thought, but for all of us, we need the ability to get away from it all.
There are different perspectives on disconnecting and no one answer exists. Some mentors tell me we’ll need more sabbaticals in the future. Another international mentor believes we need at least two weeks to even begin the disconnection. Whatever time frame works best for you and your family, all vacation must be taken. It’s obvious that the art of disconnecting has never been more important or more difficult, so we must be intentional.
CHALLENGE: Be intentional in how you disconnect. Then, be critical after you’ve disconnected about what worked and what didn’t.