Vacations are a great time for doing that problematic category of things every management course teaches you about: important, but not urgent. For some people, it’s housework or schoolwork which gets drowned out by day-to-day life. For others it’s keeping up with friends and family. Myself, I also like to read and write.
Writing, for me, is usually about practical stuff. Sometimes it’s simply code (most of those projects were written on vacations). Other times, it’s writing to this blog (in one of its incarnations) - which usually has to do with technical tinkering of some sort or other. It’s not that I don’t do enough writing in my day job; but there does tend to be an accumulation of things to write: “I should blog about that”, “I should write that code”, “I should try and get my router to do that”, and so forth. When a few days off come by, and I feel that I have enough time to get more urgent stuff done - it’s quite satisfying to be able to dig into that write-queue.
Reading is the same, but the other way around. I’m not talking about standard RSS feeds (Google Reader R.I.P.), which I usually only have time to skim through. I mean something pertaining to that: Once in a while, I come across an article (be it from an RSS feed, a social network, or a news site), which is too long to read immediately, but I’d really like to get into later on, when I have time. Usually it’s text, but sometimes it’s a long form video (usually from a technical conferences such as the recent C++ and Beyond or Google I/O). Either way, these past few days I’ve had the opportunity to take a nice bite out of my reading queue, with some entries being over a year old. To manage this queue I use Pocket (integrates well with Chrome, Android, Feedly and others), and I highly recommend it.
If you have some time off, enjoy it. Read something. Write something as well.