Currently, I’m 35996ft above earth. We’re scheduled to reach Paris, France in just under 4 hours.

I’ve recently left a comfortable SDE position at Esri in order to trek into the rainforest and challenge myself at AWS. Although tough, this new opportunity will allow me to grow as an engineer and make big impact. My new role will require me to keep a clear head and a positive attitude if I want to be successful.

Such is the reason for my current situation of lackluster leg-room and miniature pretzels. To prepare one’s psyche before taking on a challenging task, I believe it is critical to take a vacation. I would even go as far as to say that the importance of preparation is equal to the importance of execution. Preparing your mind before beginning something challenging is just as important as preparing to do that challenging thing.

In today’s “grind” culture, it is the norm to prioritize as much work as possible. Some will do whatever it takes now in the hopes that it will pay off later. Vacations and time-off can be looked down upon. The way I look at it is that both can coexist. I pride myself on being very driven in my career and I’m able to do this because I vacation when I need to. Taking a mental reset counts as work because it allows you to deliver results more efficiently.

Whether it be 5 minutes or 5 days, jump on chances to take a vacation from direct work. Work indirectly via relaxation: it’s a clear win-win.