The workaholic’s 8-step guide to holidays
Holiday season is upon us! Are you off anywhere nice, but feel stressed out by the thought of switching off from work? Here’s some step-by-step tips on unplugging and enjoying your getaway, and we’ve broken them down into three phases.
This is your time to step away from all devices and take a well-earned break. Holidays are not for working. They’re a time for recharging your batteries, reflecting on your thoughts, winding down with cool beverages, and enjoying quality time by yourself or with loved ones.
PHASE 1: BEFORE YOUR TRIP
1. Prep your week for holiday
Before jetting off, make sure you complete any unfinished work priorities and tasks so that things run smoothly while you’re away. Now you can get more headspace for a relaxing holiday without that ‘did I remember to do that…?’ nagging feeling.
You’re working with a trustworthy, capable crew (we hope). Recruit them to cover parts of your workload whilst you’re sunbathing (although maybe don’t sell it to them in those terms). It prevents you being hit with a backlog of work piled on your desk when you return.
3. Get into holiday mode (but don’t over-plan)
Now you’re freed up to begin researching places of interest to build up the excitement for your trip. But beware: workaholics love a sense of keeping control, particularly in unfamiliar places like a new holiday destination.
Bookmark the places and events you’re interested in, but go with the flow and don’t plan too much. It’ll be less stressful for you and any others on the trip.
PHASE 2: DURING YOUR TRIP
4. You get one chance to scan work emails. One.
The only thing that needs optimising while you’re away is your sense of tranquillity. Mobile phones should only be used for their traditional purposes: taking holiday snaps and searching for places to go!
So, sit down once, perhaps about halfway through the holiday, and clear your inbox. Earmark anything that can wait for when you get back, delete or archive anything that’s being dealt with. That will also help you hit the ground running when you get back – how much does it slow you down to plough through all those emails after a break?
5. Get active and leave your phone behind
Get stuck in, whether it’s playing beach sports, visiting interesting sites, trying out the local cuisine or sampling the nightlife. You are also free to leave your devices behind and just live in the moment. Or else why are you there?
PHASE 3: AFTER YOUR TRIP
6. Take some time to get readjusted
So you’re back to reality, all batteries recharged Now what?
Don’t panic. Take as much time as you need to go through your remaining work emails. Pro tip: keep the ‘out of office’ response on so you can catch up without bombardment from work colleagues. Then slowly start planning your work schedule and having catch-up meetings to get up to speed.
7. Hold on to holiday mode
You went on a break to de-stress, right? So keep doing whatever helped you to relax when you return to work. Of course, jet-skiing around the Med might not be an option, but your regular hobbies still are. You still need outlets for relaxation to better help you manage your demanding job.
8. DON’T WORK LATE!
Yes, we’re shouting, because we mean it. Don’t overcompensate for the time spent away from the office; you don’t owe the business any ‘time on’ in lieu.
You might feel a sense of guilt and want to make up for lost time, but this is counterproductive. Keep to regular working hours, otherwise old habits will start to creep in.
Work smart, vacation smart, and have a great time doing both!