There Should Be An “I” in VACATION– Oh, There is! (Business Therapeutics)
There are certain jobs that are defined as inclusive of 365, 24-7 and that could define almost every self employed or small business owner. But whether you are President of anything or just in charge of getting your butt to work there is a psychology at work about vacation that can affect productivity, happiness, focus, depression and self esteem issues for the rest of the year. There’s a reason for vacation, it’s both productivity and mental health.
Scheduling a trip or creating adventures are surely standard “vacation” planning, or “going on holiday,” if you’ve got a bit of Brit to you. We design them in advance to maximize the opportunity of time off. Of course, a good number of us may “go away” but we don’t unplug and whether we rationalize that we are avoiding a back to work landslide or a belief that it’s an important segment of the day to see to and then back to adventure we are taking care of “I” need to or want to. It’s when you don’t know how, when or why to intentionally dedicate yourself to NOT working that you fully benefit from the healing power of vacation.
I have often recounted an old Lee Iacocca story when he was President of Chrysler. One of his senior execs left he was interviewing internally for a replacement. It came down to two similarly skilled and accomplished company veterans, Iacocca said he asked each common questions including how they used their vacation. One finalist, with a sense of pride, explained he hadn’t taken vacation in two years, he was dedicated to the hilt he explained. Iacocca said he couldn’t hire an executive who wasn’t skilled or smart enough to schedule his own vacation. The value wasn’t not on endless work it was knowing that there is a life out there that we work to support. Family, perspective, rest, refreshment are all deserving of our highest loyalty.
Part of getting the benefit of vacation is to do more than appreciate what you’re NOT doing. “I didn’t have to get up…,” “I don’t have to deal with Soandso,” “Not missing the commute.” These are all worthy of celebration to be free of for a week or two but they are half the battle to optimal mental health when you go back to work.
For an Entrepreneur that process of properly not dealing with but also positively doing something: family quality time, focus on your significant other, feel a rush, get exhausted, play games and have fun can be the formula to free your mind for creative insights or come to clarity in a situation that seemed cloudy…it’s called finding perspective and that has a huge value to your personal health, and a company’s collective health.
Whether you run an empire or a spin about a cubicle the greatest express ride to vacation nirvana is to learn, or practice mindfulness. Simply, pay attention to each event, each consumption, each stimulation. How your children look; whatever the activity there is an ability for your eye and other senses to relate it to the big “I,” you. Acknowledging the beauty we have in our relationships, our ability to explore and fulfill our senses is part of a positive vacation experience and a person or a company who has great vacations may well have even better back-to-work productivity…with a little contentment thrown in.
Tom Fox is President of MyEureka Solutions and an active provider of Business Therapeutics to improve professional productivity and psychological wellness. Follow Tom here, www.myeurekasolutions.com/thoughts or @TomFoxTrainer, ©2018 MyEureka Solutions LLC.