by CIO Staff

In Praise of Unplugging (and Vacations)

Aug 15, 20023 mins

This CIO-100 issue?topically our most important of the year?is devoted to integrating everything you’ve got: ERP with CRM, buyers with sellers, in-store with online, culture with culture. When it comes to business, I’m a committed singer in the integration choir.

But when it comes to work and play, office and home, I’m a disintegrator of the first order. I love my job, but I love it more when I get a break from it from time to time.

In less than two weeks, I’ll be heading out on a much-needed, long-awaited, way-too-short summer vacation. By the time you read this, I’ll have been back at work for at least a week.

As usual, I’ve got too many things to wrap up before getting away from it all. Articles to edit, covers to plan, staff reviews to do, conference agendas to finalize.

Better planning might have helped avoid having so many urgent things converge all at once, but maybe not. Part of my planning was to get as many things as possible done before the vacation itself so I can completely disconnect. For two weeks, I don’t want to think about information systems or business problems or late stories or the lousy magazine advertising climate.

Instead, I’ll spend all my time swimming, boating, fishing, reading novels and playing with my kids. One year I took a Tom Peters book along with me to read as I floated around in my canoe. I figured, time to reflect and think about Big Ideas.

Wrong. It’s time to create experiences that have nothing at all to do with work: buying night crawlers at a general store; getting caught in a storm unprotected miles from home; watching a bald eagle pull a fish from the tea-colored water of a northern lake. Such experiences not only refresh and recharge me, but they often serve as metaphors or guideposts once I’m back in the office.

One book I will be taking along this year is much more appropriate to my goals. It’s called The Best in Tent Camping: New England, A Guide for Car Campers Who Hate RVs, Concrete Slabs, and Loud Portable Stereos, by CIO’s own Lafe Low. Its publication coincided with this year’s CIO-100?which Lafe also spearheaded. We are grateful to him for both.

If you haven’t taken a two-week vacation lately, there’s still some summertime left. Fall’s a great time to travel too. Just leave your business books and proposals at home, and send me a postcard.