Ferien! Holidays! Vacation!

July 26th, 2016 by Patricia Jehle Leave a reply »

In Switzerland the word for this season is “Ferien” and it lasts at least until mid-August


Ferien means vacation, or for my British friends, holidays. It means no school for five weeks (in the Ticino it’s two months, though). It means family holidays away somewhere; days of endless swimming at beaches; camping; backpacking; biking; and whatever else your heart desires that the pocketbook can afford. I am almost there; how about you?


Take a vacation!

In the US most people only have two weeks of holidays. In Switzerland the law is a minimum of 4 and most people have at least six. I do like this about where I live, I like it a whole lot! Most researchers would tell you that two weeks of vacation is too little, but at least it’s something, as long as you take it. It is really important to have a change of pace, a change of rest. Have the words “break, rest, free-time, hobby, holiday, and vacation” taken on a fuzzy foreign-word feeling? This is not good.


Do you feel like you can’t take a vacation because nobody else can do your job, or at least do it the way you can? Also, this is really quite a problem, for you and for your company.


So, are you always thinking about work, even when you are on vacation, lying on a beach sipping a cool drink? Hmmm… Need I ask more? You really DO need a break:


Help for the business from your vacation

Being away from work can truly help you. You are able to rest; you can regenerate; you become more creative, once again. Some of our best business/work ideas come while day-dreaming, and that may come from a good long vacation for you. Nice, huh? If you don’t take a holiday, you may become like Jack, the proverbial dull boy. I can’t help but quote an article from the economist:


“All this “leaning in” is producing an epidemic of overwork, particularly in the United States. Americans now toil for eight-and-a-half hours a week more than they did in 1979. A survey last year by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that almost a third of working adults get six hours or less of sleep a night. Another survey last year by Good Technology, a provider of secure mobile systems for businesses, found that more than 80% of respondents continue to work after leaving the office, 69% cannot go to bed without checking their inbox and 38% routinely check their work e-mails at the dinner table.” http://www.economist.com/news/business/21583592-businesspeople-would-be-better-if-they-did-less-and-thought-more-praise-laziness



Your body, mind and soul need rest and regeneration for a better level of performance at work. Your soul needs it for your personal well-being. You are not a machine and you need “you time”.


Creative Regeneration

The best way to become more creative at work is to schedule thinking time. A vacation can do this, too, but maybe both is the bet way, since hopefully, your thinking on holiday is less directed, and more like day dreaming.


But… I can’t stop thinking about work!!!

Maybe you worry and obsess about work even when you are on holiday. Remember, you can set your own limits. Check your work Emails every second or third day? Or only once a week? And turn off your phone. Just do it. Also, remember to do something different, or that requires mental concentration. I have recently taken up rock balancing and find it very fun, challenging, and helpful for my body, mind and soul. Whatever it is, make it challenging enough that you can’t think about work.


Be sure your team takes a vacation, too

Model it: if you are the boss, MODEL what a good vacation looks like!

You team needs to see that you can take a break so they feel good about it. Remember, they need to be recharged and creative at work, too!


Prepare for it

Preparation is key, though. Be prepared so you can leave but also so you can look forward to it. One of the best things to do to make you happier is to plan a vacation. But make sure your job/business will not suffer while you are away.


I wrote about holidays last summer in July, and here is the link: http://www.jehle-coachingexpat.com/2015/07/13/got-time-for-holidays/ For more fun reading on vacationing, look here: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/243381


So, get ready and then take that vacation. Just do it! For the next few weeks I will be away on holiday, so I have re-worked a few blogs that will be re-posted. Enjoy!


Happy summer,

Patricia Jehle




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