Vacation and work: Perspectives across the continent

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Caucks game
At Rogers Arena in Vancouver for a Canucks game
Caucks game
At Rogers Arena in Vancouver for a Canucks game

This week, I’m with my family in Vancouver; on the other side of the continent. West coast vacations provide some opportunities and challenges for anyone whose business is primarily in the east — namely time zones. Some days this week, I woke at 4:30 a.m. to connect with the home office and manage the mass of writing, emails, and details.

“Not much of a vacation,” you might say — and frankly, I can’t say that I exactly enjoyed some of the early-morning shifts. (The travel happens to co-incide with the production deadlines for four publications, plus an upcoming Connections Cafe that I’m co-ordinating for the Ottawa Chapter of Construction Specifications Canada.)

Nevertheless, although some people believe vacations should be true get-away-from-it-all experiences, as I generally really enjoy my work, and technology is making it much easier to manage and control a large amount of information in a short time, I don’t mind the process. We’re getting the work done and I’m enjoying plenty of time with my wife, son and extended family (including my 88-year-old mother, who had an emergency hip replacement operation on Tuesday.)

Virtually all of us combine our personal and business challenges and and opportunities, of course. Neither we, nor our clients or suppliers, are machines without  lives beyond our work, though if we are fortunate to enjoy our careers, then work and personal time can, indeed, meld into over-all rewarding lives.

Some stuff did get “cut” though. If you are a telemarketer trying to spam me, I won’t even get your call (and won’t check my phone messages on my public number; people who really need to reach me by phone, can, but strangers, not.) I decided to forgo the weekly Construction Marketing Ideas newsletter in place of watching a Vancouver Canucks game with our son. And I may delegate to a senior employee to oversee the weekly sales meeting — I can read a report afterwards.

How do you manage your vacation and personal time?  Do you seek to get away from it all, or meld your business with your time away from work?  Please feel free to comment.

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