Just reading the title that I just typed is really unbelievable, but in hindsight it’s true.
I’m not good at taking time off. Part of it is that I love what I have done professionally, but a lot of it are my issues. Vacations are not a natural act for me.
That being said, even when I have taken vacations, I’ve always been under the impression that the re-entry to email would be worse than staying in touch. My behavior has been to take a day or two off from email, but then to check in to make sure the email queue didn’t grow too large.
Inspired by my partner Seth who recently went "off grid" and teased by the rest of my partners, I decided to take a week off email recently.
It wasn’t easy at first. What I realized is that I probably suffer from a mild addiction to working my email queue down to near zero every day. When my mind would settle, my instinct was to check email. And I was in Mexico, so it wasn’t like I was sitting in snow-bound Boulder with nothing to do.
After about 4 days, however, this changed. I broke the cycle and was enjoying y time away from email so much that I’ve know decided that there is no other way to take a vacation.
When asked how long it had been since I’d been off email for a week, I spent a bit and realized that it had been 1994. Egads.
So I’d suggest that if you are like me and can’t be off your email for more than 48 hours without feeling your heart rate kick up a notch or two – fight the feeling and get over the hump. I hadn’t realized that my vacations really weren’t vacations until very recently. It’s all the difference in the world.