Last week, I drove 17 hours with my boys to our summer home in Northern Michigan. (My wife likes to fly and let the boys road trip.) We listened to lots of bad music like “Polo G Featuring Lil Tjay” (my sons’ choice), survived off fast food, and had the best breakfast ever at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Columbus, Ohio. It was a great place to stay. Think of The Ballantyne Hotel only in Columbus Ohio.
We arrived at our home in Michigan and before I could even get out of the car, the kids have disappeared. They’ve run off with their friends and are hopping on ski boats, jet skis and bicycles. They are jumping in 56-degree Lake Michigan water and buying Harbor Springs hoodies, and just generally getting ready for a great summer vacation.
I’ll be sharing my time between Charlotte and Michigan thanks to an easy flight back and forth. But being in a new setting has done wonders already: refreshing me mentally and energizing my productivity.
One of the key ideas I adhere to during the summer is that a vacation day lasts a full 24 hours and a work day lasts a full 24 hours. A vacation day is full of activities that give you energy and that you thoroughly enjoy. For example, I like to spend time with my kids, go ride with my buddies, take the family for a boat ride, and break bread with my friends. On work days, I have my cell phone in hand and a computer nearby. I am checking things off my list of to-dos, and I am doing things for others.
I firmly believe you can not do both during the same 24-hour period. This is because it takes three hours to decompress from a workday. Time slips away and the opportunity to be spontaneous and in the moment isn’t possible when there is a laptop open on your lap. Mentally, you aren’t able to be 100 percent on family time if you are wondering whether an email came through or debating whether you should check in on a project.
Vacation days are rejuvenating for you and your family. They are as necessary for productivity as work itself. The more seniority a person has, the more vacation time they need to be prepared, relaxed and rested.
Another benefit of my summer vacation is I’m in a familiar space filled with years of good memories. That lets us get settled quickly and I can feel myself easily slipping into vacation mode with minimal effort. Each year I’m reminded of the value of time away as I get some of my best work done during the summer. My 24-hour on/off schedule has proven to be one of the best things I can do for myself, my family, and my clients.
As long as I have good WiFi, cell phone reception, and a major airport nearby, I can get to any deal, while also having the opportunity to get closer to my family.
How do you balance work life and family in the summer? I’d love to hear what works for you. And if you want to talk real estate, I’m here for that as well.