As I prepare for a week-long sabbatical from work, I’m reminded of my friend David Goodman. David, a successful entrepreneur, has always believed in taking breaks. As the CEO of his own firm, he realizes the value and resulting productivity that comes from a true vacation. So, to make sure his employees are not inextricably linked to their smartphones and work when they should be vacationing, he makes them trade in their iPhones and Androids for an old-fashioned cell phone. You remember the kind: teeny tiny screen, a key pad and not much else. For those leaving loved ones behind and may need to be reached, David compromises and shuts off their data plan so they can still receive emergency calls without being sucked back into the world of work by texts and emails.
ABC News cites Francine Lederer, a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles who specializes in stress and relationship management: “The impact that taking a vacation has on one’s mental health is profound. Most people have better life perspective and are more motivated to achieve their goals after a vacation, even if it is a 24-hour time-out.”
It’s important to note that I love my job, the people I work with and the work-life balance I enjoy. Yet, getting away and unplugging the phone, laptop and brain does sound really good about now. And yes, I plan on taking much more than a 24-hour time out.