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Not Working to Improve Your Productivity

If I had told my old boss “You know, I would be much more productive if I were only able to be on vacation next week,” he would have likely thought I was pulling his leg.

However, on a macro scale, I really do believe this to be the case.  If I work too many consecutive hours, I burn out.  My feeling is that I’m not that different from most other people.  So here is my recommendation.  Take time out for vacations to refresh your mind, body and soul.  Go to conventions or conferences.  Play in sports or game tournaments.  Go on a mission.  Explore other countries. Explore your own city.  Read a book.  Or do absolutely nothing.  But, most importantly – take a break.

Where Do You Want To Go Today?
Where Do You Want To Go Today?

In my case, I know that doing something other than work lets my brain self-organize and sort things into their appropriate boxes.  I experienced this as an undergraduate at Caltech.  I took week off in the middle of the semester for a Hawaiian ultimate frisbee tournament.  Coincidentally…or perhaps not…this coincided with my highest GPA during my four years there.  Similar experiences during my graduate studies and during my employment at Cubic had similar results.  Not only do I come back refreshed, but I find new creative juices flowing and I have the energy and clarity of mind to pursue these ideas.

The hardest part about taking a break is just allowing yourself to do it. Allow yourself to trust that the world will go on without you. And it will. For me, I know our staff will support our products, help with sales, and I’m sure the business will still be there when I get back. Also, keep your eye here on the blog, because I understand something big is coming soon.

So in this spirit – and with the supremely generous permission of my pregnant wife who will be watching our two kids (4.5 and almost 3), I am taking this advice to heart.  For the next week, I will be completely unplugged from the grid.  With two friends, I will be hiking a portion of the Sierra High Route.  We will each be hiking with under 30 lbs total, including food, with the belief that, as with many things in life, less is better.  For those with interest, here is the list I use to guide my packing, passed along from Bob Rockwell.

Below you can find our initial route. But the great thing about trips like these is that with the exception of the drop-off and pick-up, there is a wide degree of latitude in the getting from A to B.



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I wish you well and suggest you take time off sooner rather than later. Your boss will thank me for it later. Maybe.

By David Carta, Telaeris CEO

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