Skip to main content

Disconnect - 3 keys to disconnecting while on vacation

Previously posted on Medium, reposted here. I blog so infrequently, I figure I need to repurpose as much content as I can!
(Photo by Marc Sirkin, Utah Mountains 2013)

Even before mobile/smartphones I was bad; sneaking away to check email, reading business books or memos while on the beach, working on proposals or ideas at the pool. All behaviors of someone who would rather lose himself in work, instead of being present with family, focusing on clearing the mind and having a good time.

Over the past few years I’ve improved my efforts to disconnect. I did however notice that it would take 2 or 3 days to fully disconnect. Similar to an addict, I’d have dreams about work, fanatically check in and have to almost physically restrain myself from replying to emails. It was bad, very bad. I’d come back from work up to date, but feeling like I hadn’t even had time off.

As my kids grew older, it became more and more important to disconnect from work and get focused on my family and friends while on vacation.

I was recently off for a week in Utah and did a lot of thinking about being disconnected. I noticed how much I loved it! In honor of that glorious time off, I present you with my 3 keys to disconnecting:

  1. Drop the ego. Start to realize you aren’t you just aren’t that important. Life goes on. Work goes on. People step up while you are gone.
  2. Be selfish. Read something other than the news, business books and memos. Find a book or a movie that moved you and consume it again with fresh eyes. I have been sharing my favorite movies from when I was a teenager with my own teens and it’s been an incredible experience. Most recently, we watched “Stand by Me” which brought me back to thinking about what it was like to be 12.
  3. (Re)charge. I read recently something about how the brain engages in new ways when you are learning something for the first time. Do that — find something new or something you do rarely and allow your brain to struggle with it, focus on it. It (re)charges you in ways that are hard to explain but are easy to feel. We went on a 3 mile hike that I absolutely loved, something I don’t often do. I was focused on the trail, the rocks, not getting hurt and enjoying the view. It was amazing.When it was over, I felt elated. My mind felt electric.
I can’t wait for my next vacation, even if it’s for a day or even a few hours, I will most certainly be disconnecting. I hope you can find your own keys to disconnecting.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What Would Google Do: Non-Profit Edition

I've been tweeting and yapping to friends about Jeff Jarvis's terrific book "What Would Google Do" even before I've properly finishing the thing. I sat myself down tonight and plowed through the last 100 pages where Jarvis examines different industries including automotive, manufacturing, telcom, healthcare and more to see what Google would do if they were in those businesses.

On one hand, I was really hoping that Jarvis had taken a look at the non-profit sector given my personal history in the sector and my ongoing interest in how non-profits operate. I'll also note that I used to write a fairly well read non-profit marketing blog. Unfortunately, the book doesn't delve into this much, if at all. I thought, instead of a basic set of notes or a book review as I usually do that I'd jump back in time and take a look at the sector with fresh, and "Googley" eyes.

If you haven't yet read the book, the basic premise is that Google fundamentally o…

Autism.

If you've been reading my blog (sorry it's been dormant for so long) it's time yet again for me to leap to the next thing. For the last 3.5 years I've immersed myself in the autism world learning more than I ever thought possible. Up until last week, I had been leading teams at Autism Speaks in social media, fundraising, marketing, IT, direct mail and CRM. I've been a busy bee.
First and foremost, I learned that autism is really, really complicated. Pick any one thing about it (take causes for example) and you'll find significantly different viewpoints from a variety of corners of the community.
I deeply connected with all parts of the community; parents, children, adults, researchers, caregivers, teachers and more. Beyond any of the other causes I've been involved in, autism got under my skin in some incredible ways. I feel deeply for those on the spectrum and for their loved ones who are must struggle to understand and cope with whatever comes from their…

Run!

I wrote a short piece on my LinkedIn page about transitioning to a startup called "Run!"

Cross posting it here for archiving sake...

I'm a huge fan of Zombie shows like The Walking Dead and it's new spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead. Running is a big part of being in a zombie apocalypse.  It turns out, running is also a bit part of working for a startup. After many years and several industries (non-profit, tech, consulting), I find myself back in what I call "startup land' - that magical place where chaos reigns and everyday brings a new set of challenges, each of which feels more important than the next. As it turns out, I thrive on that sort of chaos. Even when I was at PwC working as a consultant, the most interesting projects were the ones where there was total chaos. I'd look around and see everyone scrambling for cover and I'd just revel in the madness.  Now that I'm back in the thick of things working for a very small technology company, I fe…