You have two choices while on vacation: try to keep a light connection with work or relax and treat yourself to something special. Why is it so hard to do one or the other?
The problem is our brains just don't function this way. Experts have shared for years the concept of Right Brain (feeling, concepts, creativity) vs. Left Brain (logical, analytic, numbers). They work together but are set up to handle different tasks.
Our issue is when we let both sides of our brain get involved on vacation. Your task is to orient your brain to the area of greatest interest.
I find I am able to shut down the logical, detail-oriented, critical part of my brain by focusing my energies on activities that are geared more toward art, music, and other creative outputs.
This does not mean I am actually being creative myself. Sometimes it can be as simple as watching, listening to, or reading about these more artistic endeavors.
One example of using music to open our brains to more creativity is to listen to repetitive music (without words). Tim Ferris was the first I heard share this thought. Many now use this technique while writing their blog posts, Inc. articles or books.
So, how can you use your vacation to generate more creativity?
Instead of trying to balance your two worlds, train your focus on right-brain activities.
Learn to play guitar. Take an art class. Visit a museum. Take a guided hike. Read a non-business book. Camp out. Attend a play. Become a birder. Canoe leisurely down a river.
By filling your brain with creative activities, you just might turn off that important but overly critical left side. But be prepared, new ideas just might come rushing in, and you will need a way to memorialize them for later scrutiny. My advice? Simply open the Notes section of your phone or use the microphone to record your thoughts.