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A few weeks ago I wrote this blog on how I was preparing to completely relax and recharge on my upcoming vacation. Well… I did it! I did the real work and it paid off. The Operations Manager at Athena, Jennifer Tracy, was a Rockstar. It wasn’t all smooth sailing while I was gone, and she did really well with the challenges that came at her. She didn’t shy away from them, or say, “We’ll wait until Gina returns from vacation and sort that out.” She kept moving all things forward.

I read NO email while on vacation for 10 days. None. I pushed my email app off of my home screen, so that I’d have to be a real culprit and go digging for it if I wanted to read my email. I managed to not be a culprit.

When I returned from vacation, Jennifer and I debriefed. This is when you learn the real strength of your people. I said to her, “Ok, start with the worst stuff first.” She did and it turns out he “worst” wasn’t that bad, partly because she knows better than to let issues fester. She swoops in, rolls up her sleeves and takes action to get things resolved quickly. Hallelujah!

Why am I so adamant about turning everything over so thoroughly when I go on vacation? Why not just check my phone a little bit each day? What I have discovered is that the most rejuvenating and re-fueling and nurturing part of time off or vacation, is not the location you’re going to, or what you do or don’t do while on vacation, but rather that you have the opportunity to not be accountable for your usual work and projects, for a period of days. That is what allows me to mentally, physically and emotionally recharge – the lack of accountability, more so than the pina colada on the pool deck (and that’s cool too!).

The more you “give” in life and the more you provide for others, the more you need to recharge, and knowing how to recharge is critical.

Would you like to know my specific tips and ideas for crafting your own time away from the office with intention? I share this and more in our latest newsletter. I personally write our newsletter on topics such as Life Balance, Working Values, Delegation, Remote Teams, Effectiveness and the latest on what’s happening at Athena.

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~Gina Cotner, CEO