A few weeks ago we were asked to comment on an article for C-suite leadership – on the best ways to work on vacation without too much disruption. I understand the desire for this guidance. Many of us feel like we can’t fully unplug and yet we don’t want our need to work to detrimentally affect anyone – not ourselves and not the people we’re vacationing with. However, and this is a big however, I think the time has come for us to “Just DON’T do it!”

While there are certainly ways to work while on vacation without too much disruption, in many ways, staying in touch while you’re supposed to be out-of-reach is detrimental – to you, to your traveling companions, and to your firm.

How is it detrimental to you? Our brains and bodies need a break – a full break – for us to perform at our best, and by “just checking in every now and then,” you don’t give yourself the full break you need to recharge.

How is it detrimental to your traveling companions? That almost goes without saying. The people you’re with are most likely with you because they want to actually be with you, and when you don’t unplug fully, you’re not really there. Your thoughts, interest, and focus remain at least partially back at your office. Your travel companions deserve your full and undivided attention. Give it to them.

How is it detrimental to your firm? Even if you’re the CEO, your team needs to learn to function (and succeed) without you. You want them to be strategic enough, talented enough, and sure enough to handle at least nearly anything and everything. You want them to know what to do without you, so that you can focus on the things that really need your attention (like your vacation and your travel companions while you’re away, and the aspects of your day and your work that truly need you and your perspective and knowledge when you’re back at work). And you want them to know that you trust them – and fully stepping away demonstrates your trust in a way no one can deny.

Obviously, unless you’re in the most remote location, you can be reached for an emergency. But for the best results overall, truly check out and enjoy yourself, and come back refreshed and ready to be even more successful.

How do you successfully check out while you’re away?
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If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

For support in fully turning it off – and building the resources so that you can, contact Lisa at lkohn@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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