Leave work at work: How to really relax during your holiday
Summer is upon us! Many of you are gearing up for the holiday season, the time of the year usually spent relaxing, seeing family and for some, travelling to exotic locations. Even though this is time spent away from the office, many people find their minds drifting back towards work. In the modern work space, it appears that for some, it’s difficult to escape their work responsibilities fully, even if they’re a million miles away on some tropical island and work should be the last thing on their mind. That’s why we’ve compiled some tips to help you take advantage of the holiday period and leave work where it belongs – at the office.
Get work done ahead of time
Many employees feel that over the holiday period they have accumulated so much work that they wish they had never taken time off at all. To avoid feeling overwhelmed during your holiday, get ahead of tasks before you leave. Wrap up as many projects as you can before your holiday begins so they aren’t lingering in the back of your mind. By doing this you can start your holiday off on a relaxed note.
Limit your use of technology
Technology can either be your worst enemy or your greatest ally. Today, we are surrounded by items such as handheld devices, notebooks and mobile internet everywhere we go. All of these keep us connected no matter where we are in the world. Access to technology often helps us to be more productive and do our jobs better, but this easy and constant accessibility can turn out to be a curse when we’re trying to take a break from it all – there’s no way that you’ll be able to relax completely if you’re constantly checking your emails and dealing with work-related matters. The best way to deal with this is by notifying your colleagues at work that they should only contact you in emergencies – that way you know that if you are contacted, it must be something urgent that requires your immediate attention. If you must, you can also allocate a certain amount of time each day during which you can check in and reply to emails, but the trick is to stick to that timeframe and not get sucked in. If you set aside an hour a day, honour that and when the hour is up, put the laptop away and get back to relaxing. Allow your “personal anxiety level” to determine how long and how often you check in. Often a quick scan of your emails can put your mind at ease and confirm that the office isn’t falling apart without you, thus allowing you to return to your holiday less anxious.
Empower your team
When you know your work back home is in good hands, it’ll be so much easier for you to let go and unwind. Part of this is learning to trust your colleagues and allowing them to shoulder certain responsibilities in your absence. In doing this, you empower your team members, something that not only builds trust between you and them, but also gives you the freedom to enjoy your time off without worrying about your projects back home. At the end of the day, delegating can really help you escape work properly because you’ll take comfort in the fact that your work is in good hands, and in turn you’ll hopefully be able to switch off your mind and truly relax.
Have a re-entry strategy
Even if your vacation was the most relaxing break ever, you’re likely to lose that relaxed feeling fast if you return to an overwhelming to-do list and bulging inbox. Whilst this is almost unavoidable, the best thing to do is to block out your first day back in the office completely to give yourself time to sort through emails, get up to speed with projects and catch up with the relevant people. Leave your Out of Office on too as this will give you a chance to get up-to-date with things before being bombarded with new issues once people realise you’re back. Try and ease back into things after a holiday – the chances are your refreshed brain will be able to tackle things far better any way after having had a good rest.
Finding that perfect work/life balance is difficult at the best of times, so it comes as no surprise that successfully leaving work at work during your holiday is no easy task. Bear these tips in mind when you’re planning your next getaway though and ensure that you get the time off you deserve.