John Mann

John Mann

Why vacations are important.


Doing NothingVacations are critical for perspective, health, and productivity.  Now, I know people are going to say, "how can you say productivity?  You aren't doing anything?".  Well, that is not how my mind works.  When I walk away from a problem, I process it with different ideas, concepts and approaches.  Steve Jobs often went on walks for insight,  Charles Dickens would go for a walk at 2pm almost everyday, and there are many more examples of daily breaks.  But what about a week vacation, or two weeks straight?  The workaholics cringe at the thought.

Well, I am coming to the end of a week and a half vacation.  I went to the beach, read a little, wrote a little, coded a little, and watched a plethora of television.  I walked and even had a day when I did absolutely nothing.  All of that being said, I feel healthier, energized, and excited about life.

Here are some simple things I learned on why vacations are important:

Vacations help you create a new routine.

Ever want to exercise more?  Or read a little every day, or write more, or...  During your vacation, you can make that happen.  You don't have any plans that can't be changed (or you shouldn't, otherwise it isn't a real vacation in my mind).  Set a simple routine you want to create and stick with it during your vacation.  It really helps to get a kickstart and you have a better chance of sticking with it when you go back to the "real world".

Vacations allow you to accomplish things you haven't had time for

Want to finish that project from last summer you never did?  Want to finally build a new table?  You will have a sense of accomplishment and have a sense of closure.  However, make sure you are using that time to do something you WANT to do, not something you have to do.  It should excite you, not something you dread.

Vacations allow you to reconnect with others

We all have busy lives, we pride ourselves on how busy we are.  It really is sad.  Being busy doesn't mean you are successful, it means you often don't know how to manage time.  What about your friends who haven't seen you in months, or your family who sees you once a year, or even connecting with your significant other?  Make the vacation time about them, watch how excited you feel about connecting with them, not on facebook, twitter, email, but drive over to see them.  Spend an evening with them, without smartphones, internet, television, or movies, just learn that lost art of conversation and laugh a lot while you both figure it out again.

And most importantly:  Vacations are time to re-energize from your typical day-to-day

To re-energize means something different to each person.  Some people are energized by being in crowds and socializing with everyone, Some enjoy complete silence and a weekend yoga retreat.  You have to determine what that means to you.  Now that you have determined what that is, GO DO IT.  Take that time and do something you love.  Then realize how great it feels and then try and incorporate it into your weekly schedule, not just your annual vacation.  Get excited about "your time".

It will lead to some amazing creative thoughts, ideas, and opportunities that you never considered.  Enjoy your vacation, and don't let it go to waste... use it for yourself and see how great you feel when you wake up.

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