Don’t take your laptop on holiday, take your notepad

Going on holiday with your family?

One quick tip …

Leave work at work.

Leave your laptop, your iPhone, your Blackberry and all your other corporate shackles in a drawer at home.

Don’t take any device that can read corporate email, or chat with work colleagues.

Set your Out of Office assistant to tell people you are on holiday, then go on holiday. Direct people to an intelligent capable colleague, then switch off the kit. All of it. Power OFF. Trust the other person as you would want them to trust you.

Now go and buy a small Moleskin notepad (no bigger than A5) a new pen and a pencil. Whatever you prefer: biro, fibre-tip, fountain pen and a pencil. Don’t buy the cheapest one, but don’t spend a mint either. £20-30 is about right. And no eraser, no tip-ex.

And no, another pad will not do. BUY A MOLESKIN.

Why a pencil? Pens fail, pencils are more reliable. It is your backup.

Now back to the holiday.

The next few days will be a combination of relief and technology detox.

A combination of good and bad pain. You will crave email, you will crave connectivity.

You will get over it.

Your family will thank you.

You will find it harder than you think.

You will get stressed.

You will get over it.

But if you relax, allow yourself to recharge and let your mental energy increase you will start buzzing with ideas and a clarity of thought that was not there at work. Don’t lose this, write it down. Grab that Moleskin notepad and write. You can write lists, stories, anything, just get it out of your head and onto paper.

Then close the book and go back to your family.

Put ideas into the book, then close it again. Don’t do anything that could be seen as an action. It is a holiday.

Give your family the one thing that they want above anything else in life … your time.

When you get back, look through the book, before you switch on ANY kit, go through the notepad.

Think about it, talk about it, refine it, cross it out.

For each thing (action/thought/reflection) in there decide what YOU need to do next.

If there is nothing in there, then fine, you are rested. Job done.

I bet there are things in there that matter though.

If there is something in there that can be life-changing, then start the actions NOW.

Do this first. This is what happens when your mind is freed and set onto dealing with the most important things – your life, and that of your family

Give these the attention they deserve.

First things first.

Quickly the time will come to open the draw, to switch on the work kit, to reconnect and reengage. I’m not giving any advice about this. You are on your own now. If what is in the moleskin matters – then do it.

Simple as that.

It is doesn’t then put it in your case ready for next year.

Just don’t blame me if next year you realise the value of what you discovered a year earlier and did nothing about it.

 

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