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The Problem With Working Vacations

Aaron McHugh

I received an email that read “I’m in leadership, working crazy hours, working through my vacation last week instead of resting and the story goes on.” Me too brother.

I wonder what it will take for the world to appreciate the value of rest?
The gravitation pull from the corporate machine is always to be connected, always available, and always responding- even on vacation.

I had a conversation with a co-worker where he shared his realization that “the beast” is never full and will always eat as much as you feed it. He was referring to his discovery of personal boundaries. Instead of working on vacation, which the beast will happily accept, simply don’t.

Formerly my co-worker fed the beast with an expectation that eventually the beast would be grateful and satisfied. He believed that once the deadlines were met, fires put out and emergencies abated then tranquil peace were the rewards. It didn’t work.

His failed strategy left him exhausted, frustrated, under-appreciated and bordered on resentful. Instead of departing to find a new field to till, he revised his strategy with an evil plan-limit the beast’s consumption. No longer would he feed the beast every time it groaned and grumbled. He began budgeting the beast’s meals by only offering what he could honestly afford to provide.

For your next vacation, graciously withhold food from the beast starting with your out of office auto-responder.

“I will be out of the office on vacation with my family beginning Monday, July 3rd returning July 17th. I will not be monitoring email during my time of rest and connection. Please contact my co-worker Sam@i-am-out-a-here.com with anything that you believe is important”.

The beast is a lot more ferocious in our minds than in reality. Empower yourself to rest. Be kind. Be gracious. State the facts. Appeal to the human heart. Everyone loves someone. You’ll be surprised how well most everyone responds.