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.


One thought on “DISCONNECTING

  1. I recently took a week’s vacation after a long, bloody, six month haul of 12 hour days and working weekends. I took vacation because it was either going to be that or I was going to fall apart. As my previous vacations had involved excessive work while on leave, I decided I would not work unless it was genuinely urgent. I took my work email off my iPad, left my phone in the office, and gave my team my personal email and phone contact details “in case”. Well, the week passed, no one contacted me, the sky did not fall in, the company did not fall apart, and I felt much better at the end of it. The REAL benefit came a week later when one of my team was sick, and said she would work at home, and I was able to say “no, disconnect properly, if I can do it you can” – and to my surprise, she actually did. Then I realised the power of both my good and bad modelling to my team and the expectations it sets up in them for how they behave on leave.

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