As the CEO and founder of a busy wealth management firm, I understand the struggle facing all entrepreneurs. You're responsible for everything in the company, and not even light speed is fast enough to get it all done.
So my advice on the best way to take a vacation might surprise you. The most productive vacation is one of complete immersion in relaxation and enjoyment, and total neglect of anything and everything having to do with work.
This may seem counterintuitive, but it's a fact. Sipping a pina colada - or three - while you're barefoot on a remote Pacific Island beach is one of the most efficient things you can do for your company. A productive vacation takes all the typical metrics of productivity -- client interactions, sales, etc. -- and throws them out the window. Here's why.
You need to calm down
According to Forbes, stress caused over $190 billion in healthcare costs in 2014. Imagine what this is costing your business and your health.
Even if stress doesn't make you physically ill, thousands of studies have linked it to lower productivity. So it's vital that you spend some time completely away from work, in every sense.
As a financial advisor, I think of everything in terms of investing. Spending one week away from the office in both mind and body is an investment in the years of productivity and well being you'll get out of it. And who knows? You might even have fun.
Your employees deserve it
Anyone who grew up with a little brother knows that even when you didn't realize it, he was still looking up to you and following your lead. As an entrepreneur, you're in the same position with your employees.
The best business leaders are role models for their teams, whether they intend to be or not. So if you don't approach your vacation as an opportunity to completely de-stress, your employees won't either. Employees forfeit over $50 billion in vacation days every year, so the data bears this out.
Checking work emails during vacation follows the same principle. If you do it, your team will interact with you like you're still in the office, and it also sends an indirect message that you don't trust them to hold down the fort without you.
So leave your iPhone in the hotel room. It's a great way to let your team know you trust them, and to give them more autonomy. They'll benefit from relying on themselves for the week.
You need a new perspective
Ernest Hemingway didn't draw inspiration for his novels from looking at photos on Instagram. He went to Spain, sat in the amphitheater and absorbed the sights and sounds of the bullfight.
Your company and your own creative mindset will both benefit from getting a new perspective, which you can only get by leaving the familiar behind and travelling to new places.
Professor Brent Crane of Columbia Business School found that the most creative fashion lines made during the last 11 years were made by international travelers. Immersing your brain in strange new sensations fires brain synapses that were dormant until then.
You won't have this experience with your nose buried in your iPhone, so fully delve into a new destination. Eat strange food, see exotic places and come back knowing a little more than you did when you left. Your business will benefit from it.