It was only just a decade or two ago when you could go on vacation and still be unreachable. No cell phone, laptop, or fax machine. You left a number to the hotel with someone at home in case of an emergency, and that was the last you communicated with home until you arrived back.
These days, isn’t it great that we can work from anywhere? We can telecommute. We are reachable 24/7!
Or is it great??
Most of us are on this hamster wheel of productivity. We hit the ground running, and fall over exhausted at the end of the night. It’s not a sustainable state. Ideally, we’d practice a little of this everyday but that doesn’t discount the need for an extended period of rest and relaxation.
It’s not a badge of honor to say that you haven’t taken a day off in 10 years. Don’t get me wrong; it’s great to be a company man or woman – to an extent. No one ever says on their deathbed that they wish they had put in more time at the office. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. They say that they wished they had spent more time with the ones they loved.
During our “prime time,” when we are entrenched in the business of making a living, or organizing the lives of our family members at home, it is absolutely wonderful to be fully reachable. However, it’s during our “playtime” that I think it’s critical to be virtually unreachable. Rest and rejuvenation are crucial to maintaining high levels of productivity.
So, if we always have our contacts and emails within an arm’s reach, might we not be as well-replenished as we think? Without the distraction that electronic communication, email, texts, and phone calls bring, we create head space to appreciate that which we have come to see and experience for ourselves. It also helps us to communicate with ourselves, and each other without distraction.
In my family, we look at our calendar around the New Year and schedule our “playtime” in the form of family and couple vacations. In ink. So 2-4 times a year, we go off the grid. I leave my emergency contact info with my family and office, but encourage them not to call! Because truly, if my house burns down, I’m going to need to be rested and rejuvenated to deal with that when I come home.
So if you’re taking the time and money to plan a vacation, then I applaud you. Just make sure you’re getting what you pay for. Don’t take your busy life with you because it does no good to live your busy life remotely. Frankly, it’s just a change of venue and probably more difficult, a.k.a. all of the stress and none of the conveniences.
Wishing you much rest and relaxation!