A few years ago I accidentally stumbled on a very productive vacation strategy which through design or accident I've been using ever since. The week before and after Christmas (and to a lesser extent around Thanksgiving) are so quiet that they present a really great opportunity to collect thoughts, write-up ideas that have never quite made it above the noise floor, consolidate wish-lists and really think about the year ahead.
While not sustainable forever, mainly since it's rare that anything actually gets built or shipped, this last week has been exceptionally productive.
I'm not the only one. Scott Berkun explores the idea in more detail:
The week between Christmas and New Years, is the worst time to use vacation. It’s when everyone else is on holiday, turning even the most stressful workplaces into calm zones of highly indepenent and low interruption work time. Spending your vacation dollars to avoid a paid vacation in the office, is the worst bet in the vacation world: sometimes it’s a forced bet, as family plans force your hand, but it’s still a lousy value.via When should you take vacation? A strategy « Scott Berkun.