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Blog 304: Vacations

Recurring, Scheduled Mandatory Vacation.

Ask your friends who have jobs, and you’ll find that none (or far too few) take all their vacation time.

It’s a sickness, and it’s complicated, and it is no different at companies like Netflix, Google and Virgin (to name a few) that have generous ‘take-em-as-you-need-em’ vacation policies. They report that their staff work too much too. I suspect it happens because nobody wants to look like they are abusing the system. As I said, it’s complicated because humans are complicated.

As a business owner, the only answer is to make time off mandatory. Like oil changes, eating vegetables and drinking water. You absolutely must unplug and recharge the machine. I suggest that every 7 weeks you take a week off.

Completely off. It’s good for you and your business.

How good are vacations for you?

According to science (which admittedly has become a bit of a ‘sometimes food’ for some people), this is what we know about the benefits of vacation by measuring people the week before and after a vacation:

Creativity went up 33%

Happiness levels rose 25%

Productivity went up 13%

Vacation isn’t an indulgence. Time off is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and if you don’t get enough of it, you will wear down, feel unhappy, and your business will suffer.

Working too hard is bad for your health and for your profits.

Being idle or engrossed in something that brings you pure joy creates space and opportunity. These are the conditions for standing back from life and seeing it whole, making unexpected connections and experiencing out-of-the-blue connections and inspiration.

Not working, paradoxically, is necessary to getting work done.

Your homework.

Look at the full year and figure out when you will take your 7 weeks of vacation and what you might do with it.

When are the predictable slower times for your business? When are things crazy? Don’t fight the tide; set yourself up to win.

So far, you have a new work week (blog 303) and seven weeks of vacation. Congratulations.

See you next blog; we’re going to get a little more tactical for a blog or two so we can be as effective while working as possible. A little secret coming the way that you’ll like.

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