Sunscreen and computers don’t mix…and why my wife almost threw my laptop in the water

Laptop on vacation in front of water and mountains

Ah, its summertime…time for a little R&R. I live in Charleston, SC which is a beautiful tourist area. (If you’ve not visited Charleston, you might want to check it out.)  Whenever I go downtown or to one of our area beaches, which are packed with people who are on vacation, I’m always amazed by how many laptops and smart phones I see around. It’s sad really. Now, I realize that many of these people might be talking to friends and family, but I suspect many of the calls and emails I see going on are for business. I should know because I used to do it too…until my wife threatened to throw my computer into the water near the end of a vacation many years ago…and she meant it! That was the last time I took my laptop on vacation and we take a two to three week vacation every year.

Here are 4 reasons to leave your laptop and smart phone at home when you are on vacation:

There Is A Reason They Are Called “Crack” Berries

Email on the phone is a difficult thing to resist. When you are checking your email, mentally you are back at the office. The urge to feel connected to the office might be from a fear that things are not going well, the need to control, or just boredom and habit. Being fully present when on vacation is far more important than any of those reasons. If you are the most important asset of your business, then think of disconnecting as the taking care of your most important asset. The best way to not check email on your phone is to leave your phone at home for the entire time that you are away. All you have to do is change your voicemail greeting. You may suffer withdrawal symptoms at first, but you’ll get over it.

The People in Your Life Deserve No Less

Sometimes a single email or work related phone call can trigger several minutes or even hours of thinking about work. This “traveling in your own mind” pulls you away from your family and friends. There is no need for it. You are spending money on a great vacation; you should enjoy it fully and connect with the most important people in your life.

Accounting Emergencies Only Exist in Your Mind

Enough said! You will have a business when you return. Most of your clients will be pleased to hear about your vacation when you get back and your staff can probably handle a lot more than you think. There is no need to “check in with the office.” Leave a phone number with one person in the office along with instructions to call only if they must. Let clients know weeks in advance of time-off so that if there are important issues needing your attention, they will know your schedule.

You’ll Make Giant Leaps In Your Career

The happiest and most successful accounting practice owners that I’ve met over the years all take their time-off seriously. Time off gives you perspective…a chance to see the forest and not just the trees.

Enjoy your summer!


About Brannon Poe:  Brannon is the founder of Poe Group Advisors and has been facilitating successful accounting practice transitions throughout the US and Canada since 2003. He is also the creator of Accounting Practice Academy. Brannon is the author of the Accounting Practice Insights Blog and hosts the Accountant’s Flight Plan” podcast with other top thought-leaders in the accounting profession. Brannon is an E&Y alumnus. He has worked with some of the most successful and seasoned CPAs in the industry and has been privy to the behind-the-scenes methods that these clients have used to build highly profitable practices along with capable and independent teams. Brannon has authored multiple books, including Accountant’s Flight Plan – Best Practices for Today’s Firms (published by both the AICPA and CPA Canada) and On Your Own: How to Start Your Own CPA Firm, Second Edition (published by the AICPA). Brannon is passionate about entrepreneurship and is the president-elect of EO Charleston (Entrepreneur’s Organization)

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