How do I take a vacation as a manager without feeling anxious or guilty about leaving my team? I’m having a difficult time thinking about disconnecting which makes me feel guilty about not devoting time to my family. Help!!!!
A Tale As Old As Time
It’s summer… Kids are finally out of school and vacations that were planned earlier in the year are approaching. The time off you worked hard for this past year to accrue is going to pay off. You worked diligently the prior week to taking off to sunny Florida for some R&R on the beach. Things are all lined up, in a good place, and your team just accomplished one of its best quarters ever. You feel like you deserve that time away to spend with those you love and are, let’s face it, one of the biggest reasons, if not the biggest reason you put in the time you do back at the ranch.
You Have a Good Team
You keep telling yourself, “I’m going to unplug this time for sure.” The house is in order; I can relax a bit and enjoy the view. Then it happens…you find yourself checking and responding to emails by 9am when you are supposed to be relaxing. You think to yourself,” I’ll just respond to a few here and there”. You do this even though you’ve built up a good team around you and know they are fully equipped to handle just about anything that comes their way. You somehow still feel obligated, or maybe the word is dedicated, to work instead of play. Has that ever happen to you? It did to me. This year it hit home, as I saw the way it affected the people around me, as well as myself.
Balancing Life Requires Work
Ultimately, through some much needed self-reflection after that whole week of vacation, I realized I just wasn’t able to find the balance. How many of us are constantly in this always-connected, fast-paced daily routine and feel unable to take a few days off to recharge? There is getting to be more and more of us that feel this way. You may or may not be able to completely get away, but you owe it to yourself and your family to find the right balance that works for you. Everyone needs to detach, recharge, and spend some time with those they love and do what they enjoy doing. I realized for me, work was my top priority even on vacation, and family and living life in general was second. I had to find the balance, learn to control what I am in control of, and learn to let go a little bit more than I had been accustomed to.
So, I wanted to share a few things that may help with this, and have certainly helped me a great deal since:
- Stop and take a minute to think… Do you need to get that call, or respond to that email? Will it be beneficial or can it wait?
- Don’t put pressure on yourself. This one might be easier said than done. You may think so, but there isn’t an emergency waiting for you on the other end of the phone or in that email. Don’t drop everything for that phone call or that email if there is no immediate emergency, I promise it can wait. You can control this mind set and thought process more than you think, it just takes time.
- Turn off the work-mode switch. If you login, make those calls, or get engaged in work while you are supposed to be relaxing, you are not making the most of the vacation time. Enjoy your time off with whomever and wherever your vacation takes you!
- So, plan ahead for that vacation. Not just the location, what you need to take with you, and the who and when. Do what you can at the office prior to heading out, so that you can do only what you WANT to do on vacation and not things you do NEED to do. Take that vacation already, and enjoy it!
Bob Malik, AurStaff Branch Manager
Bob has been with AurStaff for over five years and has experience in transportation, operations, capacity management, and account development. In his spare time he enjoys getting outdoors and spending time with his family.