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The Vacation Guilt Syndrome

Vacation guilt is a new phenomenon that I tie directly to the changes technology has had on the culture.

It used to be that you'd work on a big proposal, for example, and then mail it off and wait a week or so for a response.

Then, Fed Ex came along and your response would happen overnight. Then, faxes become popular and you might have a response within 30 minutes. Now, you can go right to a personal chat room and discuss the project online as you view it on your computer screen.

The sense of that everything is happening in "real time" has given us a false sense of urgency. Everything must happen now, lest we be left behind in the dust.

Vacations are a natural casualty of these developments. We feel important. Our problems are important. Time away has become a distraction.

Many of our role models brag about not taking time off. Bill Gates has been quoted as saying that he doesn't make a distinction between his "work" hours and "personal" hours because he's always thinking and plotting for the future.

The reality, of course, is that people who take time to get away and decompress make better judgments, do better planning, and are better employees overall.

Shedding The Guilt
A Few Words For The Boss

Back to Get Unwired

Your Passport Application
Lifting The Travel Embargo
Your Unwired Vacation

Written by Hope Dlugozima, iVillage.com career coach, with graphic design by Charles Paek

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