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Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest

The Vacation Crash

The family returned back from the UK last night, after traveling for something like 14 hours, plus an early morning wake up. I was up at 5am, GMT, for a 9am flight. Got to Denver around 5pm MST, and then it took a couple hours to clear customs, luggage, etc. So when I arrived home at around 8pm, I was exhausted. A very long day, with work to be done last night.

I didn't do much last night, just scheduling out the newsletter and getting it going, despite a few issues. However I still had a problem with one of the ads. I didn't preview it since by the time I figured out what was wrong and sent myself a test, the newsletter started going out the door. :(

Today was a busy morning, kids struggling to get ready, having to drive them both to school, and then my weekly meeting. As I prepped, I realized that I was in the hole with 800+ emails since last Wednesday. Two days of a publishing meeting, and then 4 days of no Internet connection had me way behind. A double whammy there being offsite and then away for a few days.

Now with a pipeline that’s almost empty, it looks like some busy days trying to get caught up and back in line. With April 1 tomorrow, and a few things to finish, this day is almost gone for me in terms of getting caught up on anything. No ski Thursday this week!

Once again, I need a vacation from my vacation. That’s bad, and it makes me hesitant to slip away for a day or two in the future. It’s much easier to just get a week away and leave everything for someone else to cover. That’s definitely something I need to address, and I realize that there has to be a better way for me to better balance time away from work when I don’t have connectivity.

Comments

Posted by Jason Brimhall on 31 March 2010

Catching up with work makes leaving work very hard to do.  It's not just catching up but also needing to perform the daily duties.

At least you were able to have a vacation with family.  I have long felt that vacation is harder work and more tiring than no vacation (trip type vacations).  It takes a bit to get back into the swing of things.

Posted by Steve Jones on 31 March 2010

I'm barely treading water today. I think the next 2-3 days will be trying to catch up and get back to a normal routine!

Posted by Gethyn Ellis on 1 April 2010

Maybe you should think of taking Brent Ozars' approach. His out of office whilst he has been on the MCM reads something like:

"I am out of the office until X Date taking the MCM. Due to the intense nature of the course I will be offline for most of that time. Upon my return I will be deleting all emails sent to me while I have been away. If your email is urgent please send it again after x date"

It takes the onus off you to respond to the emails and places it with sender, if it is really important they will send it again.

I think holiday/vacation/downtime/going dark time and doing something completely unrelated to your day job is important. It helps re-charge the batteries and you come back refreshed and enthused. You lose all the benefit if you spend your away time thinking about and dreading what you'll come back to.

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