If you have noticed a lag of posts from me this summer, don’t be alarmed, I’ve just been enjoying my summer. Aside from HR, one of my favorite things to do is go camping, and lucky for me my son loves it just as much as I (my wife… not so much). So this summer has been one that has been filled with camping trips and other family adventures; my wife will go along so long as there is, at the bare minimum, A/C. I can’t fault her there – Texas summers are brutal. In fact I am writing this post having just finished up a quick trip; our annual husband/wife trip to the Frio River.
All that said, as I was relaxing and catching up on some reading while my wife showered off (another amenity she struggles to be without) I came across an article that advocated giving up your to-do list, citing that it actually makes you less productive. I read the article with interest but finished it concluding that it was something I would have to disagree with. Like any good article, though, it did get me to thinking. The primary reason the article gave for doing away with to-do lists is because research has shown that keeping a tally of what you need to do (and therefore a list of what you haven’t done, or need to get done) in fact brings you down. Essentially eating at your mojo which in turn, makes you less productive because we all know that we are more productive when we are happy. Alright, so perhaps having a list hanging over your head makes you a little blue, even on a subconscious level, but there are other benefits that counter that (but that’s another post for another time).
So what, exactly, does any of this have to do with you, Mr. Jim Perkins – camping guy, Frio River lover, husband of an outdoors woman who loves a hot shower and A/C as much as anyone – and your summer vacations?
You see, I take these little trips – weekends here, 3–4 days there, and go somewhere that I enjoy and where I will have fun. Do I love camping? Sure I do. Why? Because I love being outside and it gives me an unmatched chance to spend time with my son. As a bonus my cellphone usually doesn’t work so it forces me to unplug. Luckily I have always had bosses who respected that need for vacation (some more than others – you know who you are), but at the end of the day the benefits have outweighed the cost of doing without me for a few days. Some would say that it was a win-win all the way around – I enjoy my time away from the office and the office enjoys some time without me.
So how did I get from to-do lists to vacations? Letting go, baby. Just as they argued that having all that crap linger on your lists can bring you down and thus mess with your productivity, so can not getting a change of scenery. You don’t need 4 weeks of vacation to get a break. Plan a weekend getaway and either go somewhere that you can’t get cell coverage or at the bare minimum turn off your notifications. Let your collegues know you will be out of pocket, and may be delayed in responding to texts (delayed in that you’ll catch up Monday). Turn the thing off if you have to. Oh, and you don’t need to fork over a lot of dough to do this – another reason I like to camp – it’s cheap. I stay in state parks, and here in the great state of Texas, at least, I’m usually out 10 to 15 bucks a night. Granted that is a water-only site, but let’s just say I have found ways to manage…
So that’s all for now. I need to go so I can start planning my next weekend trip!
As a side note, if you are interested, I maintain a separate blog where I chronicle my camping trips with my son, the link is here: campingwithjimandjordan.blogspot.com.