Recently, I went on my first vacation since 2003. Though I’ve been fortunate to have travelled quite a bit since then, it had been a full eight years since my last vacation.
You might be confused – aren’t travel and vacation the same? Not necessarily. These two trips had one important thing in common – NO work. None. Not an email, voice mail, or social media check in. It was actually a little difficult for me to unplug, but the results were astounding. Not only did I have a wonderful, relaxing time, I’ve seen a difference in how I’ve felt about my work. I’ve been more creative and excited about projects.
Taking time off might be even more important for those who love their jobs and are in a cause-focused industry (clearly, this could apply to many association professionals). It’s easy to burn out without even noticing. You may get tired more easily, feel less passionate about your work, and generally just go through the motions of performing your duties. Ironically, NOT working can make you better at it!
So, take your vacation time and unplug! If possible, get out of town for a change of scenery – it doesn’t need to be far or expensive. You’ll come back revitalized and excited about jumping back in to work (well, after the first morning back!)