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Can you disconnect?

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My wife and I recently returned from a much-needed two-week vacation. We spent the first week driving to and touring Boston and Washington. Then we relaxed in Hilton Head for another week. It was a perfect mix of activity and rest.

Unlike previous vacations, I resisted the temptation to respond to emails and engage in work-related activities while I was away. I will admit that I did reply to a few emails, but only to advise the senders that I was on vacation and would follow up with them upon my return.

Being able to disconnect is a serious challenge in today’s business environment. Many salespeople feel an overwhelming need to stay connected and respond immediately to emails and voicemails—even when they are on vacation.

Personally, I don’t buy into excuses such as “My clients expect a quick response all the time.” With rare exceptions, customers do not expect you to be at their beck and call when you’re on vacation (and if they do, I would seriously consider whether they are worth keeping as clients).

I believe that it is critical to disconnect from work, even when we enjoy what we do. We need to give our brains a rest from work-related activities. We need to see new sights, take in different experiences, try new foods and take a total and complete break. And that means giving yourself permission to disconnect—if only for a little while.

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Kelley Robertson helps sales professionals master their sales conversations so they can win more business at higher profits. Get a free copy of “100 Ways to Increase Your Sales” and “Sales Blunders That Cost You Money” at


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