The value of vacations

I just returned from a weeklong vacation.

As a business owner, vacations can be difficult, and this one was no exception. A few fires had to be put out while I was away, which caused some inconvenience for me and my family. And now that I’m back, there are way too many e-mails in my inbox and I’ve got lots of work to catch up on.

Nevertheless, my time away was well worth it. Here’s why I value going on vacation:

  • It recharges my mind. The opportunity to spend my physical and mental energy on something other than work is invaluable, and reminds me of what’s really important in my life.
  • It leads to a needed sense of urgency when I return. I find that I make better use of my time in the days and weeks immediately following a vacation. This is probably a combination of being behind on work, and having a greater awareness of the scarcity and value of my time.
  • It gives me clarity and inspires changes and decisions. After almost every vacation, I find myself feverishly writing down new ideas and new priorities for myself and my company. It’s likely that most of the significant business decisions I’ve made were the result of time spent away from the office.

Some entrepreneurs loathe vacations, and it’s understandable. It can take a lot of effort to prepare for time away, and the moment you step into a car or plane, it seems that something always goes wrong. In spite of this, I’ve found that vacations are necessary not only for my personal well-being, but also to keep my company moving in the right direction.

When was the last time you took a vacation, or even a day off to recharge?