Like any other hardworking professional, you deserve to enjoy your downtime away from the corporate world. Being committed to providing your employer with excellence is certainly admirable. But everyone needs downtime away from work related activities. And your family deserves time with you without dueling for your attention.
If you have a vacation on the horizon, make the conscious decision, today, to separate your vacation time from your professional pursuits. You deserve the time off, and you’ll return to work with a fresh perspective and renewed energy if you do.
Step away from the office and into your much-deserved vacation with these five tips:
1. Close all avenues of communication. Turn off your cell phone and refrain from checking email while on vacation. The messages will still be in your inbox when you get back from vacation. Enjoy your time on the beach while you can, and tend to work related tasks when you get back into the office.
* If you’re concerned about missing calls from family members and friends, make other arrangements. Purchase a prepaid cell phone specifically for your trip, and give the number only to loved ones. Or simply give them the hotel’s contact information or your spouse’s cellular number.
* Remember to set up your automatic “on vacation” email responder before departing to your destination. It’ll instantly allow your contacts to see that you are unavailable until your return.
2. Set boundaries. Make clear boundaries to protect your privacy throughout your vacation. Tell your employer and coworkers that you’re devoting 100% of your time to your family while on vacation. Therefore, you prefer to only be contacted in case of an emergency.
* You deserve to protect your vacation time with the same vigor that you protect your working hours. As an employee, you’re entitled to vacation time each year. And, if your boss is a family oriented person, he will likely understand and respect your request.
3. Tie up loose ends. The month before your vacation, tie up all loose ends on outstanding projects. Plus, try to complete, or at least get a head start on, any deadlines that are looming shortly after your return to the office.
* Maximizing your workload before embarking on your trip allows you to actually enjoy your vacation and keep a peaceful mind. This certainly beats fretting over missed deadlines and scrambling to complete upcoming projects.
4. Answer questions. Before you leave for vacation, have a meeting with your boss. In that meeting, answer questions he has about where things are and what things need to be accomplished while you’re absent.
* Place post-it notes on your boss’ desk that remind him of the things he often needs your help with, such as where office supplies are located or his upcoming schedule of meetings.
5. Plan ahead for others. If you’re responsible for handling your boss’ personal affairs, preplan for any important dates while you’re away. Try to think about all the little things you’d normally be asked about if you were in the office during the time period of your vacation. A little time spent being proactive will ensure that the office runs smoothly while you’re gone.
You’ve worked all year to earn your vacation time. Live in the moment and enjoy the time with your loved ones. No matter what happens at the office, it can wait until you return. Return to work rejuvenated and excited instead of feeling like you spent your whole vacation working. You deserve the rest. Enjoy it!