Do You Really Know How to Take a Vacation?

Let me tell you the title of this blog post will strike many people as weird.

A surrounding yes!

It really will because, you know, for the typical American, you don’t need to ask twice if he or she wants to go on a vacation. You can already tell that the answer would be a resounding yes. Most people love to take vacations. Most people would like to take a break. Unfortunately, the reason so many people love taking vacations is because they can’t.

In our modern society, there are not enough hours in a day. In fact, I can’t even begin to count how many times I hear people say that they wish they had more time. This really is quite ironic because when you look at the typical eight-hour time frame spent by an average American worker at his or her place of employment, you would discover something weird.

It turns out that people burn huge blocks of time doing much of nothing. That’s right. If you were to squeeze or condense an eight-hour work period for the typical American worker, you would be lucky if you get one hour of actual productive work. This is the kind of work that puts dollars in the bank account of the company employing that person.

Keep in mind that this has nothing to do with the type of work. This person might be pushing buttons at a factory. This person might be babysitting some sort of machine. This person might be in front of a computer or surfing the web to gather information. This person might be dealing with data robots.

Regardless of the nature of the work and regardless where the work is located, it all goes back to the same place, a really rough conversion ratio – eight hours of time distilled into one hour, and the worst part to all of this? Throughout those eight hours, people really are spinning their gears. They’re chasing their tails. They’re really stressed out. They’re under a tremendous amount of pressure.

It seems like the more we worry, the less we produce. Sounds frustrating, right? This is precisely why people need to take a vacation. Unfortunately, this also highlights why most people don’t know how to take a vacation.

If you need proof of this, just ask yourself honestly the last time you went on a vacation, how many times did you think of work? How many times did you think of your personal issues? How many times did you worry about stuff from the past? How many times did you agonize about stuff that has yet to happen in the future? Be completely honest with me. If you have been really honest and you have come up with an accurate figure, it would amount to a lot.

That’s right. A typical American is stressed out. So, when they go on a vacation, they’re completely blind-sided. They may be wearing the nice Hawaiian shirt or the nice vacation outfit. They might have nice digital cameras hanging by a strap around their necks. They might have nice smiles on their faces but deep down inside in the dark, inner recesses of their mind, they’re not relaxed. They’re not taking a vacation.

So, ask yourself the next time you have some sort of vacation period available, “Do I really know how to take a vacation? Do I really know how to take a break? Do I really know how to prioritize?” I want you to ask these questions. Don’t give yourself some sort of conclusive answer because when you do that, you are painting yourself into a corner. When you do that, you’re basically telling yourself you don’t know how to do it. So, forget it. You might as well give up.

You don’t want to give yourself that impression. Instead, ask yourself some questions. This way, you can engage the problem-solving aspect of your personality so you can put simple factors together to come up with a real answer.

This is how you take a vacation. Break things down into smaller parts. Take the emotional sting out of it. This way it’s less intimidating, and you’re more likely to come up with an answer that makes sense as far as your particular set of circumstances are concerned. That’s how you take a vacation. There is no one-size-fits-all answer.