A few months ago, I spent some time in Cancun on a family vacation but decided to blend some work with pleasure. I wasn’t quite sure how that would work, but I decided it was well worth a try. I learned five important things while I was away.

1.    The world is small.

The world is ever-shrinking. With the proliferation of email, text messages, social media, and picture sharing sites, not to mention Skype, it’s requires little effort to work remotely. In the past, if you wanted to go vacation and take some work with you, you’d have to print it out, bring file folders, set up phone meetings depending on time zones, etc. These days, it doesn’t matter where in the world you are, you have access to every piece of data or component of a project that you would have had in your corporate office. You’re able to communicate globally with the push of a button—even with video capability.

2.    The world didn’t end in my absence.
Though it may cause a momentary crisis of self-worth, if you leave a good team in place, provide them with solid instructions, ensure they have the tools they need to get the job done, and afford them with enough trust to make decisions when needed, then any business can carry on in the leader’s absence. In my case, deals were finalized, renovations completed, phone calls made, and meetings held.

3.    Real estate is everywhere.
Buying and selling of real estate does not have to be done within the 25 square miles of your current residence. I spent time in Cancun looking for potential opportunities. The Internet makes it possible to pre-plan before a trip, and to research the demographics and the housing market.

4.    Careful planning puts you ahead.  
Hurry and scurry puts you behind. Are you a last-minute scurrier? My time in Cancun reminded me that careful planning avoids so many of life’s pitfalls. It saves so much time and offers a level of peace of mind that can’t otherwise be gained. Because I planned well for the time I’d be away, I was able to keep business moving as though I’d never stepped away.

5.    Determine what’s important and what’s urgent.
Sometimes the most urgent need is rest. It’s important to know yourself well enough that you’re able to step back and meet your most urgent personal needs first. Then, when it comes to business, tackle the urgent things first—a phone call from a seller in a deal that’s about to fall through—that’s urgent. You might want to take that call. But a phone call from a realtor who has some good stuff coming on the market next month? That’s important, but shouldn’t encroach on your personal or family needs if you’ve set aside special time.

In sum, I have a hard time separating work and play because I enjoy both. Love what you do and do what you love! I think it was the best of both worlds, and I look forward to my next seaside business meeting.