Taking a vacation is a critical part to staying sharp and on top of your game at both work and at home. Stephen Covey calls this “Sharpening the Saw” (see the book ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ – a must read). Being a Real Christian BusinessMan means you especially need this time. I have been on vacation this past week myself.
What are some common practices to do while you are on vacation? Turn off the cell phone. DON’T check work email (mandatory! – not even once). Get out your Bible. Do some praying. Read a book. Spend some time with your family. Exercise. Stare out into space. Let your thoughts wander.
This is how your brain will recharge. Not checking work email is critical to your rejuvenation process. Whatever it is that is so important at work will be covered for you while you are gone. If they can’t “do without you” for 5-10 days at work, then you probably think you are more important than you really are. Have you ever tried not responding and setting clear boundaries that “I am on vacation” and that you won’t respond? I used to check email while I was on vacation, but then I finally drew the “hard line” and said I wasn’t going to check email at all, leaving an out of office message reinforcing this too (I am on vacation and will not be checking email. I will respond to your message when I return). Amazing when you get back how things somehow take care of themselves that aren’t as “urgent” as you (or your co-workers) think they are, and that they “figured it out” while you were gone. Besides, if you check email “just one time”, and see something that needs action, you either have to take action on it then (thus not being on vacation) or you sit around and WORRY about it the whole time you are supposed to be on vacation and you ruin your time away!
To be a Real Christian BusinessMan, you must allow time for God to speak to you during this time of rest. Jesus frequently went out by himself and with his disciples to “pray and be alone” so that he could recharge himself and prepare himself for the multitude of people who constantly swarmed around him.
” Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.” (Mark 6:31,32 – Jesus feeds the five thousand)
Be For Real. Don’t deprive yourself of something that is critical to who you are, how God designed you and something that will make you a better husband, father, co-worker, and friend. GET SOME REST. In whatever form this may be for you and however you are wired. Everyone will be glad you did when you come back to work on Monday…
What are some thing you do while on vacation that allow your mind to relax and refocus?