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August 1, 2014

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Rest and Relaxation

It doesn’t matter where I’m traveling. When I talk to businessmen and women, I can see how truly tired and overworked they are. Although most won’t admit they are tired, I can tell that they are by the bags under their eyes and their diminished enthusiasm and attention span. It seems that today, if you are still in business, you have been working at a frantic pace–perhaps even longer hours than when your company was really busy. You have less staff, higher client demands, lower fees, and shorter deadlines to meet.

My advice to you–take some time off–take a vacation!

The benefits of taking some time off and resting both your mind and your body will pay off immensely through more productivity, clearer vision, and increased creativity. Here are a few tips to help you optimize your time off.

Pick the right time. There is always the right time to take time off. Conversely, there is the wrong time too. Pick a time in between assignments or tasks or when there is a lull between deliverables. This will help you put your mind at ease to enjoy your time off. In addition, it is an easier time to let your clients and co-workers know that you will not be able to be reached when there are no pressing deadlines. Even if the schedule works for you, make sure that there is not someone depending upon you during the period of time that you wish to take off. This will help you make sure that their needs will not be impeded, and that you won’t be getting the panic phone call when you're gone.

Enjoy your family and friends. There is nothing much worse for your family and friends than a working vacation. Remember, it's their vacation also and they're hoping to spend time with you. Consider this situation: You take your family on vacation and spend much of your time working. Your family goes sightseeing without you. You are working while they are at the beach, or you take your work to the beach and work while they play. I’ve done this before and it’s not only unfair to you, but equally unfair to your family. If this is your typical vacation, as it was mine for years, then perhaps you have picked the wrong time to go or you haven’t place the importance on resting both your body and your mind. I used to wonder why I wasn’t refreshed upon returning from a working vacation. It seems silly to me now that I didn’t understand that a working vacation really isn’t a vacation. If you don’t understand this concept, save your money and stay home.

Disconnect from work. Sure, emergencies are going to happen and you are going to get that occasional call from the office when you are on vacation. But be clear with those with whom you work that you are going to be on vacation and that you will only be accepting calls of an emergency nature. Discuss with them what entails an emergency. I’ve found that most situations, even when deemed to be important, can wait a few days for you to return. Until you take the position that your vacation is important, those panic calls will keep coming whether important or not.

So, find the right time, leave your work at the office, and disconnect for a vacation. You’ll find yourself refreshed and ready to tackle anything upon your return.

Until next time …

Craig

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