Living as a Leader

Is It Worth Going on Vacation?

Have you ever wondered if it’s really worth taking a vacation? I’m a day away from my annual Canadian fishing trip with some close friends and I’m doing double duty to get everything done. So I hate to admit it, but I’ve asked myself more than once – is it worth it?

Of course my answer’s always “absolutely YES!” I can’t imagine not being with my closest friends doing something I love to do in a place I love to be.

So then I ask a follow-up question – “what do I absolutely need to do to go on vacation so I’m not worrying about what I didn’t get done?” My answer’s the first step in getting ready to leave.

The answer’s also important because I won’t have any cell service or email so there’s no chance to do any leftover work. And I’ll be mad at myself the entire vacation if I’ve planned so poorly that I have to bring work with me.

The next step is to create a prioritized “Before I leave for vacation” to-do list and then work on it the two weeks before I leave. The list includes SpringHill work, family commitments, trip preparations and other obligations.

I then prioritize the list into two categories. The first is “the stuff that absolutely needs to be done before I leave” and the second category’s the ever-growing “stuff I would like to do before I leave”. You know which one I work on first.

The list does a few things for me. It keeps me focused. It provides my assistant Katie and my wife Denise an idea of what balls that might come their way while I’m gone. And finally the list’s essential as a starting point when I’m back.

So yes, vacation’s worth the work, but I couldn’t be ready without my to-do list.


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