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4 Tips for Time Off

Making the most of vacations

One of the things I tend to neglect (and I know many leaders who struggle with this as well) is fully utilizing vacation time. I underestimate the value of rejuvenation that happens when I disconnect my mind from my usual routine and responsibility. I too easily miss the importance of time with family and friends, laughing, playing, and resting. And oftentimes my vacation is nearly over before I've really started to rest and relax.

The more complex my life and leadership get, the more I realize vacations are not a luxury; they are a necessity. In order to make the most of vacation, I've found I have to do four things:

Plan vacation time well in advance. I get it on the calendar early so I have something to look forward to and so that all the other demands on my time don't edge it out.

Make it long enough. It usually takes me at least two to three days to disconnect fully from my daily routine and stressors. Because of this, I now build in enough time to decompress as well as time to actually enjoy being disconnected.

Don't take work on vacation. This is such a great temptation for me. It always seems like there is just one project I need to do while I'm out. But I don't; I let it wait. That includes turning off my e-mail too. As tempting as it is, everything can wait.

Be purposeful in using time to connect with family. When I'm with family, I focus on fully engaging with them. Instead of being a vegetative zombie, I try to use vacation time to reconnect—to be fully present with them—and make great memories.

For more ideas on how to create meaningful time off work, check out the download Successful Family Vacations.

Jenni Catron serves as the Executive Director of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN. She loves a fabulous cup of tea, great books, learning the game of tennis, and hanging out with her husband and border collie. Jenni's passion is to lead well and to inspire, equip, and encourage other women to do the same. That passion drove Jenni to start the women's leadership community, Cultivate Her. Jenni blogs there and at www.jennicatron.tv.

June15, 2011 at 2:29 PM

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