We Don’t Truly “Vacate,” But Why We Really Should

July 26, 2011

For some reason this article was the hardest to write, but also the one I felt needed to be written the most.  It applies to so many different areas of our marketing and our practices/management and our lives.  And most of all, it is the truth.  Sometimes the truth hurts.  But here goes! 

WE DON’T VACATE!  I dare say that 90% of you all (myself included – other than my honeymoon last November!) have not taken a vacation in the past 3-5 years where you actually did not take your laptop, your cell phone or call you office for one entire week while you were gone.  Part of it is our need to be in control.  Part of it is the thought that the office will fall apart if we’re not there.  Part of it is the thought, “the cat’s away, so all the mice are doing is playing.”  There are a million excuses.  I have heard them all and I have made them all.

Herein lies the problem.  If you don’t “vacate” while you are on vacation a number of things happen:

  1.  You don’t relax and enjoy your vacation.
  2. Your family and/or friends don’t enjoy their time relaxing and enjoying their vacation with YOU.
  3. You are not engaged 100% on your vacation.
  4. Your staff assumes that you don’t trust them to do their jobs.  This builds resentment.  And, ultimately leads to people leaving.
  5. Your communication with your staff is not at its best because you aren’t having face to face communication.  More errors are made.
  6. Your “work” isn’t being handled effectively/efficiently and you aren’t 100% engaged in it either.
  7. By not leaving the office completely behind, you’ll never know how things would be run if you were to get run over by a bus tomorrow! Just kidding – but not really……also makes you think about your exit strategy a little bit. 🙂  (That is a topic for a different article).
  8. I can promise you your spouse (husband or wife) isn’t happy – and if “mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”
  9. You kids aren’t getting quality time with you!
  10. You aren’t getting quality time with you!

So, the next time you schedule your vacation, leave your laptop at the office (not just at home – it will be there when you get back).  Put your cell phone in a drawer.  Have your family and friends (and the office) call your spouse’s cell phone in case of emergencies.  Read a good book of any genre you enjoy!  Do not take your firm’s financial statements with you!  Do one activity that you wouldn’t normally do at home.  I know you will return a better lawyer, spouse, parent and friend.  You will be a better version of YOU! We’d love to hear your thoughts about recharging. Let us know how you get away from it all.

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