7 Ways To Enjoy Your Vacation
One of the two ironies of taking a vacation is working hard to have things even or cleared off enough to hand them off for a week. One of the other ironies is the twice-as-much-work-as-before waiting for you when you get back.
It’s that old humorous proverb, that:
No Day Off Goes Unpunished
While vacation is a time to relax and de-stress, it is all too common for the preceding week or weeks before to see an increase in the stress load. By using these guidelines you can set yourself up to have an enjoyable, successful, and well-deserved vacation.
- Have fun PLANNING your vacation. One of the most important aspects of vacation is getting excited while you’re planning it. Don’t neglect the vital aspect of planning your getaway. Whether you’re a detailed minute-by-minute person or someone who just books the travel and hotel then improvises, make sure the critical aspects of your vacation, not your work, are planned first. This gives your vacation reality and will motivate you to make the rest of these guidelines leading up to it run more smoothly.
- Promote your vacation intention weeks beforehand. By communicating you vacation to your co-workers, managers, and customers, you start creating an expectation that you’ll be away. It will get them to mentally wean off of you when you are actually out of town. Constant reminders in conversations, taglines in your email signatures, and even inter-office or customer memos help create the understanding that you’ll be away during those timeframes.
- Work a game plan. Write down and prioritize those items that need your full attention between now and then, and those other items that can start to be transitioned. It will build your team some more confidence and remind you of any training opportunities to help others cover your role adequately while you’re gone. Getting a plan in place ahead of time will also help you discover any challenges that will need to be addressed beforehand as well. In addition, start to delegate tasks to others to avoid burying yourself so you can clear your plate that much easier.
- Get colleagues, clients, and team members re-acquainted with those who’ll cover you. The other benefit of delegating tasks is it connects others within and without your organization and gets them used to asking others for assistance and answers. Connect those dots early and reinforce a team approach that may even stick after you come back.
- Establish boundaries. Make sure everyone knows not to contact you. Under any circumstances. Period. You may need to establish solid boundaries to let everyone know that you simply will not be available. Many customers and colleagues don’t think to honor other’s days or time off, but you can remind them how vital vacation is to everyone. Even using strategies like pingback texts, out of office emails with specific instructions, and forwarding voice mails, the technology that makes it easy for people to find you can also make it easy for people to be reminded that you’re “off the grid”.
- Inform everyone when you get back that it will take a few days to re-integrate. Let them know to have patience and if there are any urgencies to also work with those who covered in your absence. People will want to revert back to the norm the day you come back, which is unrealistic and simply erases and rejuvenation you gained while away. Set these expectations us for your return also.
- Play hard. Have fun. DON’T give into the temptation to work. Honor the boundaries you set for others as well. Don’t answer that phone. Focus on rounding out your life, not your organization. This week is for you and no one else.
With smart planning, vacation can be what it is always meant to be – a time of refreshing. Enjoy!!