By Deb Dib
The 3D adventure where fearless early adopters, career-minded people, and enlightened companies join the 3D personal branding revolution!
Be a Ditch. Dare. Do! Daredevil on Vacation
It’s August! Summer is still here, and many professionals will be enjoying some well-earned vacation—probably a working vacation, with emails checked, problems fielded, and reports written, and phone calls made. Whether our holiday is luxury travel, camping, or a stay-cation, many of us can’t (or won’t) “un-tether.”
Do any of these fit you? My boss expects 24/7 availability. My business can’t run without me. If I don’t handle something right now, it might blow up before I get back. I can’t miss calls from key clients. I have too much to do to just stop doing it. I just can’t imagine not being connected. I’m afraid I might miss something important!
But have you thought about what you’re really missing?
Do you get some of your best ideas in the shower? Or while you’re on a run? Or while gardening? Or on your commute home? When our brains are engaged in something other than work or the daily chores of living, they are free to play—to float, to get creative, to make connections. And vacation is certainly playtime. Or is it?
As recently as 10 years ago, vacation time was vacation time—a time to relax and play, a time to reconnect with family and friends. And people knew that leisure was a real ROI business resource—a playground for spontaneous ideas.
It’s ironic isn’t it? Now, by plugging into work, we unplug from the casual, circuitous, enjoyable meanderings of our brains, and often lose the opportunity to grab an idea from the ether—and idea that could make a real difference at work or in our world.
So here’s an idea: adapt the concepts from William Arruda’s Nine-Minutes-a-Day Brand Plan to craft a nine-minutes-a-day working vacation plan that keeps you playing while connecting and creating.
Set a timer on your phone or computer for nine minutes, focus, and GO! Blast through your e-mail (be sure you’ve set-up your vacation auto-responder so people don’t expect replies). Review for top issues ONLY. Send BRIEF replies to the highest value issues ONLY. Make FAST phone calls, for emergencies ONLY…and be realistic about what constitutes an emergency. Then let go, and go play!
Ok, I hear you: I have more than email to do on vacation, too. In fact, I’m writing this article on vacation! Often we have to leave the office with things hanging that need to be wrapped up. So save part of one vacation day (often day one works best) to handle those things and let your companions know you are doing it so you can free your mind and schedule—for them and for fun.
Then, for the remainder of your vacation, use just nine minutes day, one-to-three times a day, to stay in touch with your work. Use the rest of the time to stay connected with your vacation! Your family, friends, stress level, and creativity will thank you.
If you think that this will reflect badly upon your reputation, consider this: Letting go may release unimaginably positive consequences. Your example may set the tone for your reports to let go a little on their vacations (and they will love you for it!). Your customers may see you as a little more human. Your boss probably won’t know the difference since you’ll still handle the critical things. You may even be seen as more efficient! And your family may actually trust that when you say you need a few minutes for email and will down to the pool shortly, that you really mean it.
People are doing this already. Be one of them. Ditch the workaholic label; dare to test the nine-minute-a day working vacation, and do relax with those you love and care for (including you!). Be a Ditch. Dare. Do! Daredevil and start the nine-minutes-a-day working vacation revolution in your circle of influence!
You can read more about the Nine-Minutes-a-Day brand plan in Ditch. Dare. Do! And for more nine-minutes-a-day ideas join us at the Nine-Minutes-a-Day LinkedIn group.
Known as The CEO Coach, Deb Dib is a Reach Master Brand Strategist, speaker, educator, and co-author, with William Arruda, of ‘Ditch. Dare. Do! 3D Personal Branding for Executives.’ Her work is featured in 30+ career books, and has been in the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes.com, BusinessWeek.com, and other major media.