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Holiday Nocations

by Randall Craig on December 18, 2007

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Management, Retention

Tagged as: , ,

When you go away on your vacation, are you really taking the time to recharge? Are you spending that promised time with your loved ones, creating those memories that you will cherish for years to come? Or are you spending your time checking emails, taking calls from the office, and stressing about your deadlines. If so, welcome to your Holiday “Nocation”.

The reasons for vacations are obvious: They help you recharge, reconnect with family and friends, and develop interests outside of the office. They put a jolt of “life” back into work-life balance. From an employer’s perspective, vacations are also important: upon return you will attack your responsibilities with a fresh perspective and new energy. And while you are away, others will pick up new skills covering for your absence.

If you insist on taking a Nocation, then none of this can happen. And while you might feel that spending your vacation doing work is the smart thing to do, in the long run it takes a toll on your career – and your health. Turning your Nocation into a Vacation isn’t that hard:

  • Spend a bit of time beforehand prepping your colleagues to handle your responsibilities.
  • Let others (colleagues, suppliers, customers) know that you’ll be away, and who to contact in your absence.
  • Set your voicemail and email to let people know when you’ll be back.
  • Lock your work cellphone and your BlackBerry in a drawer, and give the key to someone else. Only take them out the night before you return.
  • Don’t even think about checking your work email from your home computer.
  • If you insist on doing work while you’re away, focus on a career-building activity instead, such as reading the latest business best-seller.
  • If you are one of those people that finds it really difficult to “unplug” from the office, choose a vacation travel spot that has spotty cell coverage and no internet access. If travel isn’t on the agenda, then choose a messy project (room painting, furniture refinishing, etc) around the house that makes it tougher to quickly check in on the office.

This week’s action item: While you might not be able to do everything on the list on such short notice, choose at least two. You’ve worked hard, and you’ve earned your vacation.

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Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)



Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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