Letter From the Director: Recharge With a Summer Vacation

Last updated: Jan 17, 2023

I love summer! There’s the feel of beach sand between your toes. There’s the smell of burgers on the grill. There’s the chorus of oohs and aahs during a fireworks display. And, lest I forget, it’s when baseball season kicks into high gear! With schools on break, sunny weather, and numberless options for fun, summer is the quintessential season for a vacation. This means it may be an opportunity to step away from your work for some needed relaxation.


Recreational time off from a job isn’t a luxury — it’s a necessity. Today’s quest for productivity often infringes on self-care. Your wellbeing, though, shouldn’t be sacrificed as a result. If you’re a salaried worker and a vacation is afforded to you, take advantage and use it! Make it a time to reconnect with your loved ones. You may travel or you could stay close to home. It doesn’t matter. Just take an adequate time to break — physically and mentally — and recharge.


If you’re a leader, take those steps to prevent your people from burning out. Strongly encourage them to take time off. And they should feel comfortable when they do so. Have processes in place to facilitate planned absences. The effect will be a worker that leaves at ease and returns at ease. Leaders, too, must model this by taking a proper vacation themselves. If leaders aren’t willing to have time off, it sends a garbled message and leaves team members vacationing with doubt or reluctance.


When vacation begins, it needs to be a tangible break. No one should spend their time away dreading how tall their incoming tray will be upon getting back. This is something I emphasize to my people. I tell them to go and be at peace, to not worry about work. I want them to understand that when it’s time to return to the office, there’s an expectation they’ll be at their best — focused and ready to go. I believe vacation time that’s well spent often sparks a renewed sense of appreciation and meaning at work.


So, slather on some sunscreen. Go for a swim. Visit a national park. Pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read. Sleep in. A real vacation doesn’t necessarily require covering a lot of geographic distance, but there should be detachment from the workplace. Vow to not peek at e-mail. Aim for no unnecessary smartphone use. You’ll return to work rested, clearheaded, and prepared to get after it again. With a refreshed spirit, healthier productivity will resume. Happy summer!