On September 26, 2015, last week, I sat on a bed in the Flagstaff, Arizona Doubletree Hotel and swiped my iPhone to the right.  I turned it off.  For eight days.

Having it on in the depths of the Grand Canyon atop the emerald green Colorado River would have done me no good, however.  There is absolutely no cell service, not to mention litter, civilization, human made sound, or even shelter down there.  Last night was my first night in a shelter of any kind for over a week; I did not even use a tent (nor did any member of my twenty-six person party).

Smart phone technology, thankfully, gifts us virtually unlimited access to connectivity.  Ironically, if used without discipline, it will disconnect you from yourself.  We now find ourselves with a dilemma before our vacations — “Do I take my phone, or not?”  Subsequently, we have created two types of vacations, connected, and, free.  The first type, I would argue, is not a vacation.

The science regarding uninhibited, constant use of smart phone technology is in, and, is indisputable:

  1. Multi-tasking makes you work slower, not faster.
  2. Multi-tasking leads to worse, as opposed to better, decision making.
  3. Uninhibited, constant cell use causes damaging physical stress.
  4. Breaks from work, including cell use, are a mandatory part of overall physical health.  Longer, more routine breaks (one week plus) are a vital part of this equation.
  5. Reliance on electronic communication weakens, not strengthens, the quality of your most important personal and business relationships.

Oftentimes, particularly in real estate, we believe we (“I”) are the only people who can handle a situation correctly, assuring the closing.  We drift into thinking our customers want our service only, and, that they do not want us to vacation.

Do you know how many millions of real estate transactions will close this year?  Certainly, this will happen with, or without, your distinct constant connection to the industry.  To believe we are the only people whom can handle things, or, that our customers only want us, is intensely arrogant.  The real estate market moves on, with or without us, as does our personal business:

  • I left with nine deals in escrow scheduled to close.
  • In my absence, one closed.
  • All other eight stayed in contract, two of them passing inspection (without me).
  • My wonderful substitute sold two homes for me.
  • Upon my return, all my deals were solid, one had closed, and two more had sold.

(Maybe I should leave more!!!)

Vacations, and here I am referring to those without your phones, are mandatory for your health, optimal success, and the contentment of your life.  Defiance of this set of facts is egotistical, physically damaging, and just plain silly — Doesn’t everyone want to vacation more?

To say a vacation will somehow give you another deal, or two, or more closings, or, more leads, is not only difficult to quantify, it’s also the wrong idea in it’s essence.  We don’t vacation solely or more business or more relaxation or for sharper minds; we vacation because without enjoying and marking our lives with time off and celebration with our loved ones, there’s not anything important to work for.  Vacations are invaluable, both to your business, but, more importantly for your life.

If you can’t leave your phone behind, start with a trip down the Grand Canyon.  You have to drop your phone, and be swallowed into a peace that leaves unchangeable and vital markings on your intellect.

Here’s the trip we took:



Author Matt Parker

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