This is Spring break week where I currently reside and it got me thinking about vacation and what I consider the three must do’s regarding vacation.
Must Do #1 – Take your vacation
If you are like most people in our profession then you work really hard just about all of the time and you probably feel like there is always something to do next. Guess what, there will always be something to do next. If there isn’t then your job might be in jeopardy. You have to fight through the feeling like there is no time to take vacation and take it anyway. We all need time to clear our mind, get reacquainted with our spouse and kids, see friends and relatives – in other words enjoy the fruits of our labor at work. Vacation isn’t a reward or luxury; it is a necessity if you are going to be productive year round. So don’t see vacation as taking away from work, but as a way to enhance work and make you more effective.
Must Do #2 – Plan your vacation
Most CPAs are great planners, but somehow they drop the ball when it comes to planning time off. They say they will fit it in when it is convenient which is a nice way of making sure it never happens. The best way to make sure you take your vacation is to plan it in advance. You don’t have to plan every day, but make plans for at least 90% of the days you intend to take off right from the beginning of the year. Sure those plans might have to change for work or non-work related reasons (your brother announces he is getting married in a destination wedding for example), but it is much easier to make sure you take time off if you already have a plan than if you don’t.
Must Do #3 – Let go on your vacation
Don’t bring that laptop or tablet or smartphone if that is what it takes to truly get disconnected. I know that might be impossible for some people so maybe you just plan on checking email once per day while on vacation – an then only to clear out the junk and eliminate the 10 back and fourth emails leaving the final resolution (with all the build-up) to read more thoroughly when you return to work. People are amazingly considerate if you leave a simple out of office message and let them know you will get back to them when you return.