Rio Celeste is one of the many wonderful hideaways available in Costa Rica. A zone with an important indigenous heritage, amazing natural resources and a river that due to volcanic influences literally goes by its name. I share this week a few lines about rest as I have the privilege to put them in practice as I spend this holiday season with my family here.

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Go on Vacation! – I've met colleagues that like to accumulate their vacation for long periods after which they also go for important periods of time, just because. I have slightly different perspective. I try to take all my available vacation every year in two or three different periods. Here the important thing is not so much how do you take your vacation. It is probably more important to ask: are you taking it? Do not get fooled by confusing hard work with no vacation at all. Even if from time to time you need to stay away from vacation to focus on a project. Do not make it a permanent habit. Otherwise you’ll remember that you are a human in need of rest the hard way. 

Make sure you deserve it – I mention this one because I try to make the same question to myself from time to time. It is really cool to go away from work knowing that you are performing well in what you are paid to do. If some time the answer is not necessarily positive, then make sure that your vacation pays you well by recharging your batteries for a better come back. 

Plan ahead – open spaces do not pop up in the agenda magically. There is space for the things that actually interest you and for which you open spaces. If you do not manage your agenda, other people will do it according to their interests. So make sure your family and your vacation have the spots they deserve in it. This means that you’ll need to make plans at least a couple of months in advance, so you match your family’s availability with the demands from the projects you are currently leading. 

Share the news – we live in a heavily connected world. Many team members and colleagues depend on the work you do, the plans you make, the code you develop. Communicate early the holiday seasons customary in your country which you plan to take, as well as the holidays. Make sure to let your stakeholders know your plans and how they can proceed in your absence. You will need to ask a few of them for their agreement with your plans. Others will do just fine with a kind notice. This will save you some bad moments once you come back. 

One more thing – if you are a project manager or a manager you will definitely want to ponder all vacation time and holiday from the team members you are leading. Especially if you are dealing with demanding restrictions of time or workload. It is easy to make dumb schedules by allocating every team member 52 weeks of work availability per year. That may be true for payment purposes not for effective time. 

I wish you a very happy Easter! 

- Sergio Calvo

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