When was the last time you had a vacation?
When you took this vacation, was it an uninterrupted, relaxing, and recharging visit to a location of your choosing? With your family? While your office left you alone?
I didn't think so. Would you like to?
I have my clients do "the vacation exercise." At your earliest opportunity, get your spouse and family together - and grab your calendars. You'll want to do this pre-vacation scheduling for the next 12 months - so you'll need to know when your kids have time off from school.
Step 1 - Get Excited: Make a wish list of possible vacation (or staycation) destinations. Identify three (3) 7-10 days periods per year that are available for you to travel, as well as three or more 3-day weekends you can use to get away or stay in your own city to rest and recharge. I'm dying to visit Austin, TX, Vancouver and Chicago over long weekends ... my trips to Costa Rica and DisneyWorld will be week-long sojourns of delightfulness.
Step 2 - Get Organized: Decide "when" you want to go "where" and mark it on your calendar(s).
Step 3 - Commit: Purchase your plane tickets and make your hotel reservations. You can visit your intended destinations online and when appropriate, order a visitor's guide.
Step 4 - Set Expectations: Before going on each trip, notify our fellow partners, clients, colleagues and anyone else who needs to know: You will be gone. You will be unavailable. If they need to speak to someone regarding an emergency, tell them who is handling their case/account/order. Let them know when you'll be returning (so they can give you a ride home from the airport). By setting these expectations in advance, you'll be able to get away with the feeling of having a low-level of stress and a high level of enjoyment.
You will be better at your job if you take the time to rest and recharge. This will avoid burnout and give your gray matter much-needed time-off. While you're gone, be sure to send me a postcard (and have an adult beverage).