Turn On, Tune In, and Drop Out on Your Vacation: Vacation ≠ Work
Do you vacation at least once or twice a year? You should. Your body and brain need a break. Most of us work hard, but are not built to work every single day without some downtime. If you have a family, they may even want to spend some time with you!
I was speaking with another attorney recently who was lamenting about an upcoming vacation with his wife and kids. He was complaining about what he had to get done before his vacation, ensuring that things were covered while he was gone, and the catching up he was positive he would have to do upon returning. I understand what he was saying because all of us face the same issues when we go out of town. Plus, we live in a time when everyone – clients, opposing counsel, co-workers – expect immediate responses.
And you still have to make time to take a break, stringing together a number of days when you can focus on friends or family and activities you don’t get to do all the time. Taking yourself out of the grind, even for short periods of time, can help your mindset and motivation when you return. Of course, this assumes you actually take a real break when away, i.e. not checking email, voicemail or otherwise working. This includes the “excuse” of making your inevitable return easier by checking your email to weed out spam and unimportant emails, which I admit I have done. If you do this, you will see the more important emails and then feel you have to review and respond, and then you are sucked right out of vacation and relaxation mode and back into work mode.
To avoid this, you have to address your availability, or lack thereof, prior to leaving your office for vacation. You can try to do this by setting expectations on your availability and response time for clients, co-workers and others you deal with. Do this before leaving. The idea is to put yourself in the best place to have a break and enjoy yourself.
As I am writing this I also am remembering the attorney who complained to me about going vacation mentioning he knew he would be working while he was away if I needed to call or email him. No shock.
As always, this post and others can be found on my blog, BusinessLawGuy'sBlog .
About the author:Neal Bookspan is a partner at the Phoenix, Arizona law firm of Jaburg Wilk . He assists clients with business issues, commercial litigation, workouts and bankruptcy litigation. Neal can be reached at 602.248.1000