23 Mar “I Have Off Today, But I Have To Work Most Of The Day.”

working on vacationA couple months ago, I was on a flight to Florida to speak at a leadership development and time management event. As soon as the plane landed, I sent a text to the person who had booked me, so that he knew I had arrived and was available to help with setup. “Thank you! I’m at the tram to pick you up and will give you a tour of the area right away,” he replied, “Perfect!” I said. He went on to say, “I have off today, but I have to work most of the day…so let’s check the room that you’ll be speaking in right away.” I read his reply again to make sure I hadn’t misread it or misunderstood it. Nope, he meant it. He had to work all day on his day off.

I’ve been thinking about his statement for quite some time. Then, this past week, I led a quarterly off-site meeting with all of my managers, team leaders, and sales reps. During that meeting, it dawned on me and really amazed me, that four of the twelve people were supposed to be “off” that day. They had still attended with energy and enthusiasm, because they are passionate about what we do.

Think to yourself for a moment. Have you ever spent most of your “day off” working? I have, you have, and so have many other professionals. Do you often work during your vacation days? I must admit that I do. In fact, I used to think that working on vacation was a cool thing to do.

So, is it good or bad to work on vacation? Is it actually helpful, or could it be harmful? Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy answer. I strongly believe that the answer greatly depends on the person and his or her situation. There may actually be a time when working on vacation will help you catch up at a crucial time when work needs to be done. Or gives you back some family time so you’re not working late every night when the vacation is over and you’re back to work. With that being said, given that most of us have very limited vacation time, I would suggest that you avoid working during a vacation, so that you can be totally present with those that you spend leisure time with. Let me share my thoughts.

6 Myths About Working During Vacation

  • Myth #1: You need to work on vacation because you’ll get interrupted less.
  • Myth-BUSTER #1: Schedule blocks of uninterrupted time during your normal work-week. You can get big projects completed before and after vacation.
  • Myth #2: You need to work on vacation because it’s your passion.
  • Myth-BUSTER #2: Give your family and friends your time and attention during vacation. They might see your passion as work. Instead, be present, and make them your passion for this time.
  • Myth #3: You need to work on vacation to show your coworkers how hard you work.
  • Myth-BUSTER #3: Stop checking your email every five minutes during vacation. Don’t create the culture at your organization that you have to stay connected 24-7-365.

Click to Tweet: Working during vacation is pointless. Building lasting memories during vacation…priceless. @derekdeprey #movetolivewell

  • Myth #4: You need to work on vacation to get ahead at work.
  • Myth-BUSTER #4: Think again. If you’re one of the best in your profession, your plate will always be full…before, during, and after vacation.
  • Myth #5: You need to work on vacation to avoid potentially losing your job.
  • Myth-BUSTER #5: End the mind-game that you’re playing with yourself. If you’re great at your job, you won’t have to worry about your future. You receive vacation because you earn it.
  • Myth #6: You need to work on vacation because you don’t think that you’re coworkers can do your job.
  • Myth-BUSTER #6: Get real. The best leaders are secure, trusting of their teams, and willing to share responsibilities.

In a couple of weeks, I’ll be leaving on a family vacation to Disneyworld! I’m going to heed my own advice and for the first time ever, I won’t be checking my email. If there is an urgent matter, I can receive a phone call or a text. I won’t be posting a blog that week either.

I’m really grateful that I have actually experienced this wake-up call before our trip. It’s worth repeating…

Click to Tweet: Working during vacation is pointless. Building lasting memories during vacation…priceless. @derekdeprey #movetolivewell

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