Staying connected

Gary Evans, Jennifer Negley, July 9, 2001

It's time to recharge the batteries.

Right now, many in the industry are preparing to head off on a well-deserved vacation. It's been one wild ride so far this year. Time to climb off the roller coaster for a bit, let the sense of vertigo settle out and get some perspective on things.

There's the question of how much connectedness one needs to maintain on such excursions. Do you pack the laptop, the cell phone and the pager? One or two of these? Or none of the above?

You can take the "Trust The Team" approach, wherein you sever all ties to the business, leave a flurry of memos in your wake and consider your colleagues sufficiently capable of handling whatever petty crisis may occur in your absence. (But you might want to leave your cell phone on, just in case.)

At the other extreme, you may operate in the Messianic mode, wherein you clear e-mail on a daily basis, consult with the office regularly, weigh in on all decisions and spend at least a couple of hours each afternoon working the phones.

Some people couldn't possibly relax if they had to maintain such constant contact. Others couldn't rest for a second if they didn't.

There is no right or wrong way to go about it. The important thing is just to go.

If you happened to be in the midst of these last frantic days before vacation — nailing down plans and squaring away projects — here are a few things to remember.

  • You'll realize about five hours after you leave that there's one last thing you forgot to finish. Don't sweat it. If it wasn't vital enough to command a place on your exit list someone can handle it in your absence.

  • Something important will happen while you're away. It could be something completely unexpected. Don't beat yourself up because you were off duty. That's life's reminder that the world goes on about its business with or without you.

  • Finally, understand that it will all be there waiting for you upon your return. The business will be just as hectic and demanding as it was before you left. And for that reason alone, you should enjoy yourself to the fullest while you're off the clock.

Besides, market's only 15 weeks away.

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