Employee Productivity GaugeDictionary.com defines weekend as any two-day period taken as a weekly rest from one’s work, usually occurring between Friday evening and Monday morning. But all too often our nine-to-five becomes 24/7, and taking a Sunday afternoon break from our email to spend time with family becomes the most adventurous thing we do all week. Why do we feel like rebels for turning off our laptops or letting a call go to voicemail? In order to be able to give 100% to our job, we have to be willing to disconnect and take a break from it.

Those who know me know I have trouble sitting still, and if I’m not multi-tasking, I’m bored. This makes disconnecting difficult for me. The thought of turning off my cell phone or not opening my email just to “check in” stresses me out. It’s not that I think things will fall apart without me and I’m not expected to take my work home with me, I just like knowing what’s going on – it’s my personality. But I’ve realized that never disconnecting from work is like never unplugging your cell phone from the charger – eventually, no matter how long you charge it, you never have a full battery. So I decided to make a change.

What better way to get over my fear of disconnecting than to take a vacation somewhere where there’s no other choice than to do just that? I’m gearing up for the biggest vacation I’ve ever taken – a trip to Iceland. I’m pretty sure I won’t be trying to take calls or check my email while I’m hiking across a glacier or relaxing at the Blue Lagoon. Sound exciting? Follow me on Twitter – I’ll post pictures.

Am I excited? I can’t wait! But I’m also excited because I know when I return, I’ll be refreshed and ready to dive back into work. In fact, studies have shown that employee productivity increases after a vacation. I challenge you to disconnect, too. Whether you have to take a plane, train or automobile to recharge or just walk around the golf course, the choice is yours. But you’ll be glad you did.

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