Being Present and Vacationing Well

700 485 David DeWolf

I’m just back from Disney World with the family. And, frankly, I’m not a great vacationer.

As a certified workaholic, I love what I do and have a hard time tearing myself away. That said, I know that downtime is important every now and then for my own mental well-being and, more importantly, for my family. I need to spend dedicated, undivided attention with them.

Here was my strategy for making the week at Disney a success.

Surround myself with a great team.

I have an incredible executive and leadership team and I have no concerns when I leave. My vacation started long before it’s even on the calendar. By hiring people I can trust, I give myself the luxury of “checking out.”

Realize vacation is not for me.

It’s for my family. If it was for me, I’d probably stay home, work on some strategic initiatives, write a few blog posts, and record a few new episodes of my upcoming podcast. That’s not the plan, so I dive into it for the sake of Teresa and the kids and have fun.

Fill the calendar with things that keep me engaged.

Too much downtime is a death spiral towards work. Just like breaking a bad habit, it’s not about what you give up, it’s all about what you fill the void with. Staying busy keeps me away from my email.

Soak it up.

Remind myself of all the reasons why I married Teresa. Realize that my kids are growing quickly. Take the time to soak up my family. I don’t get enough of this dedicated, quality time. I need to soak it up and take advantage of the chance that I have.

Turn off the email notifications.

We needed our phones to stay in touch with each other, but, by turning off my email access on my phone, the constant buzzing didn’t keep pulling me away and distracting me from being present to the task–and people–at hand.

How do you prepare yourself for vacation? Do you struggle as mightily as I do to pull away? How have you coached yourself to enjoy “down time”?