It’s hard to believe that the dog days of summer are almost upon us. While we suffer through the 100 degree days and hot commutes, the bright side is that summer is also vacation season. Be sure to take some time for yourself to rest, refresh and reinvigorate your body and mind for the second half of the calendar year. Last summer we wrote a blog post about how much people actually work while on vacation. Using myself as a guinea pig, I calculated the number of times I checked my email while on vacation. Good or bad, I averaged 33 times a day. Considering that I was probably awake about 15 hours a day, that equates to about twice an hour. This summer I intend to try and pry myself away from my iPhone so that I can really relax and enjoy time with my family. However, that doesn’t mean I need to completely rid myself of work-related content, so I’m already selecting a handful of books that I hope to read while I’m resting.
If you’re like me and completely breaking away from work is simply impossible, try to do it in a less intrusive manner by reading a book or two on professional development. If reading isn’t your thing, how about just listening to a podcast? It doesn’t get much less intrusive than that. Lay down on the sand, close your eyes and just listen.
If you’re not sure what to read or listen to I’m happy to offer a few suggestions. However, I encourage you to do your research, read reviews and identify topics that are both appropriate for your career goals and that you think you’ll find interesting.
In no particular order:
STRETCH, How to Future-proof Yourself for Tomorrow’s Workplace, by Karie Willyerd and Barbara Mistick. The authors take a deep dive into one of the biggest concerns many people have in today’s rapidly changing workplace: Becoming obsolete because technology is passing you by. They discuss ways to remain relevant and valued by anticipating the needs of tomorrow’s work environment.
IMMUNITY TO CHANGE, How to Overcome it and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your organization by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey. The authors discuss how we can unlock our potential and move forward in our careers even though we may have developed a personal or organizational immunity to change. In today’s world, if you’re unwilling to accept and adapt to change, you will become irrelevant very quickly.
One of my personal favorites is LIFE MATTERS, Creating a Dynamic balance of Work, Family, Time & Money, by A. Roger Merrill and Rebecca R. Merrill. This book resonated with me because it tackles one of my biggest personal weaknesses – balancing work and family. Realizing that you can have both. The key is finding the equilibrium to manage competing priorities that often share the same time. If you have a family, this is a must-read.
If you prefer listening to reading, here is a list of some powerful podcasts recommended by Forbes. I haven’t listened to them all, so I can’t vouch for every one of them, but I happen to enjoy THE ART OF CHARM and THE FUTURE OF WORK.
If you’d rather just lounge by the pool and completely remove yourself from the thought of work, that’s fine too – probably the healthiest of all options to be honest. But if you can’t step away completely, focusing a little on your own professional development in a non-intrusive manner like reading or listening to a podcast is worth consideration.
At Goodwill, we teach our students the value of hard work and commitment. But we also try to instill in them the importance of continuous professional development and the need to know when it’s time to take a respite.
Enjoy the rest of your summer and remember to try and relax.