Unplugged: Literally and Figuratively

Posted on July 11, 2011


Last week I took a week off from work, something I rarely do.

I can’t say I left everything behind. I still checked email and did some coaching sessions with Talent Mechanic clients because when you work for yourself there is no paid vacation and I didn’t want to give up the revenue.

But I did work the bare minimum and enjoyed myself immensely.

For all intents and purposes I unplugged (figuratively speaking).

Too many of us, especially in this economy where jobs feel precarious and can be tough to come by, refuse to take the vacation we are entitled to thinking it proves how dedicated we are.

This morning I got a reminder of why that isn’t healthy when I was literally unplugged. The power went out at my house; which is also my office.

It went out just as I was finishing a blog entry — which I lost due to some quirky back-up problems. (Which is why this post is so late)

It went out just as I was going to start preparing for a number of calls I have scheduled for today, many of which I had postponed last week.

It went out just as I was going to plug-in my phone which I had forgotten to charge the night before. That phone of course representing my only connection to the outside world at that point.

It went out just as the nice polish woman who doesn’t speak english showed up to clean the house forcing me to explain that her vacuum won’t work without power; a discussion that probably looked like a scene from a bad sit-com.

Sure, these aren’t the toughest problems in the world to solve. Losing an hour of work on a blog post was probably the worst part, followed closely by being forced to work from a Starbucks considering I don’t drink coffee.

What’s important is that it bothered me a lot less than it would have the week before last; because I had taken last week to unplug.

Of course when I get upset or frustrated over dumb little problems the only person who knows is me; no bosses or co-workers involved.

You probably can’t say the same.

So, the next time something minor really gets under your skin stop and consider when the last time you unplugged, literally or figuratively, was.