We business owners work hard to keep our companies on track and moving forward. The unfortunate result is that many of us never get around to vacations. I don’t even know the last time I took off for anything other than Thanksgiving, Christmas or because I was sick.
Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop. ~ Ovid
Most of my so-called vacations over the last few years have been conferences and other business trips. I grant you, they can be a pleasant break, refreshing in their own right, but not to be confused with a true vacation.
The last time I took a vacation – FOUR WHOLE DAYS OFF – I remember thinking, ‘What a luxury!” But I came back refreshed, ready for new challenges. I had new-found energy. I was in a great mood, and trust me, my staff noticed. That is valuable stuff not just a luxury. Yet once again I find myself overdue for a real vacation.
A friend and fellow business owner takes off a day every month to do whatever he chooses. He said it both refreshes him and gives him extra momentum to check items off his to-do list before he takes off. Author David Allen of Getting Things Done notes that people tend to wrap up loose ends just before vacation. His suggestion: take vacation more than just once a year to clear out the old piles and review plans for the future.
There’s probably a formula: the less you feel you can afford to take time off, the more you need to do it anyway. When’s the last time you took a much-deserved break?