No laptops on vacation

I just returned from a brief vacation, and I did not bring my laptop. Getting away yourself? Consider not bringing yours.

In a world of work, work, work, we need time to recharge. I am sick of seeing people on vacations, answering emails, taking calls, holding meetings, and generally using their devices.

Everyone is entitled to their opinions on the matter and everyone has different responsibilities and titles, but I am a firm believer in shutting it down.

Plan well in advance

I like to plan my vacations and turnover well in advance. To remove any feeling of guilt, I try to plan my work around that vacation, instead of through it.

Creating a document with transition notes for your time away to members covering your work, all the better. Arm them with the knowledge so that they can take action in a pinch.

Try to plan to close work out or put work in an efficient holding pattern until you return.

Forget you even have a job

My rule of thumb is to forget that I even work and have a job. This will change once the vacation ends of course, but if I don’t even think about where I work, I have had a successful vacation.

Removing your work email and work apps from your phone or not bringing work devices will help with this by removing the temptation.

I can’t peek at my inbox if I don’t have access to it!

But Dan, I live to work or have a high-powered job!

One thing I have learned the hard way is that we are not robots. We are human beings. We need time to recharge.

Try to find activities or vacations that allow you to brainstorm, clear your mind, and reset your thoughts on given initiatives.

If your position requires you to check in, schedule touchpoints to avoid overexposure.

On a trip to Iceland, I did not bring my laptop, but I was able to use the new experiences to forge creative new ideas for life and for work. I was learning!

During my most recent trip to Los Angeles, I snagged some ideas about team participation and personal dynamics from an experience I had at a Korean BBQ restaurant in Koreatown. I’m weird like that, but I think removing oneself from something they have been thinking about too much is a good thing. You will arrive on the other end with fresh ideas and a recharged body and mind.

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