I had an epiphany of sorts a couple of years ago, courtesy of a good friend of mine. I caught up with him after he had taken several weeks of holiday/vacation time, most of which was spent in a coastal town a few hours’ drive away. I asked how his break was and he replied “It was fantastic. I switched off my phone and left it at home and just enjoyed the time with my wife and kids”.
I was initially taken aback by what my friend told me.
“You mean you had your mobile phone switched off for the whole two weeks?” I gasped.
“Yep” he replied in a very self satisfied manner.
“You didn’t even check your work emails just once or twice?”
“No, and it was the best decision I could have made. I feel like I had a really good mental break”.
After pondering my friend’s approach for a few weeks, I vowed to do the same for my midyear break that year. For some time I had been aware of some of the negative impact of being connected to work 24/7 and every day of the year – the intermittent distraction of my presence, focus and attention towards my wife and two young children when at home or on holiday.