OK - run through the list one last time. Golf clubs? Check. Sandals, sunscreen, and swimsuit? Check. Ah, it's going be a great vacation - you can't wait. But...
There is one last list to check.
Cell phone? Check. Laptop? Check. Wireless adaptor, briefcase, spreadsheets, projections? Check, check, arghh!!
This is vacation? Sadly, for many the answer is yes. And, according to Tel Aviv University Prof. Dov Eden, that's precisely the problem.
Prof. Eden studied the impact of vacations on chronic job stress. This is an area of specialty for Prof. Eden, who has been studying "respite effects" for the past decade. His recent study focused on college professors from Israel, the United States, and New Zealand.
The results say it's all about the quality.
Prof. Eden found little difference between stress relief from extended vacations, including yearlong sabbaticals, and brief vacations. In fact, the stress relief from a long weekend vacation was often as significant.
However, the real key was the ability to detach. To actually be on vacation, rather than simply extending the office to the beach via technology. Prof. Eden believes that staying connected to the workplace effectively negates the positive impact of vacations, and is the underlying cause of chronic job stress.
So, the next time you plan a vacation, ditch the cell phone, the laptop, and the spreadsheets. Turn your attention to more important matters - things like a good book, a new stretch of beach, or a midnight stroll. Ah - now, that's beginning to feel like a vacation...To read more about the study, see this from ScienceDaily. To read more about chronic job stress, see this from Helpguide.org.