I sit here near the end of my two week long vacation. Browsing Twitter I came across a story that ‘Americans Are Too Afraid And Stressed Out To Take Days Off From Work’. My immediate conclusion is that I may have have not reached critical mass in the areas of stress and fear. A few years back I started taking the last two weeks of August off. One week was for family vacation, the other for home projects and moving my daughters into college. I find in the second week I become more relaxed as work issues seem more distant.
Yes, I do check my work email a few times a week, forwarding anything that needs to handled. As someone who works in an office, it is great to spend most of my time outside. From my home projects to reading or just sitting on the deck staring at the sky, there is a personal and business benefit to me of taking a break. We are in the so called ‘idea economy’ and often our best thinking comes when we are not thinking at all. No longer blinded by our email inbox taskmaster and the demands, sometimes contradictory, of the people and organizations with which we work, clear thought can occur.
Reading stories about people’s fear of not being at work because time-off creates problems is bizarre. Look at the graph in the story link above. It comes down to this, people think they are irreplaceable. Their work world can’t be without them. The fact is we can all be replaced in a moments notice. The business will go on. The key is for us is to create value in our jobs when we are doing the job. All we truly have is our reputation. Remember, even the Energizer Bunny eventually needs new batteries. Go schedule your next vacation!