Career Advice, Watercooler

Four Vacation “Souvenirs” To Bring Back To The Office

My family and I just spent a week at Disney World, and you can bet we came home with a lot more stuff than we went there with. Turn two preschoolers loose in a Disney souvenir shop and they’re sure to find a few (or 15) items they can’t live without. There’s the Mickey Mouse bouncing ball, the Mickey Mouse truck, the pirate gear, and two Mr. Potato Heads complete with Sorcerer Mickey hats. My husband and I even caught the fever and got ourselves Mickey Mouse t-shirts.

So maybe a bunch of Disney souvenirs won’t do us much good as we return to work this week (except motivate us to work harder and make money to pay for all the stuff). But when we workaholic Americans take a real vacation and truly unplug for a few days, we almost always return with some things that make us more productive, more efficient, and better able to do our jobs.

If you let yourself take a vacation this summer, here are four “souvenirs” you can hope to bring back to the office when you return.

  1. 1. Refreshed creativity. Nothing feeds the creative bone like spending a little time in new surroundings, relaxing on the coast or opening your eyes to sights never seen. Give your mind a vacation; allow it to think thoughts it wouldn’t normally be free to explore, and don’t be surprised if you come home with some of the best, most creative ideas you’ve had in a long time.
  2. A clean slate. “I find that when I’m preparing to leave for vacation, I am like a steam engine, able to clear away work and loose ends quickly — or better yet, delegate, so I don’t have to concern myself with those things while I’m gone or when I return,” says Anita Paul, owner of marketing firm in AtlantaThe Write Image.
  3. New ideas. When you travel, pay attention to how businesses like yours operate in the area you’re visiting. You may witness marketing ploys, customer service processes, or other strategies that could be adapted successfully for your own company.
  4. Conversation fuel. “Coming back from a vacation is a great way to start a conversation with a potential client, to catch up with a client you haven’t heard from in a while, or to break the ice while making collection or sales calls,” Paul says. “People are interested in interesting people, and travel makes you interesting.”

How do vacations make you a better worker? What do you hope to bring back from your next vacation?