Summertime is upon us. It’s the time of year where we see fewer people in the office and more automatic replies hitting our inbox. A time where, no matter where you live, summer months are reserved for family, friends and fun. Right?
Well, with the digitally-enhanced world we live in today, many professionals find it difficult to unplug and completely step away from their work. Essentially, un-plugging during vacation can not only be difficult, but unrealistic and even stressful.
Most people can’t help but check their email, texts and news because the information is literally at their fingertips. From snapping pictures on your phones to checking the time to scrolling through social media, if you have a mobile device in hand, you have access to your work.
Even though I, too, have a hard time stepping away from the business when I’m out of the office, I know it’s important to do so. That’s why I thought it would be good to share my 6 Tips to Unplug While on Vacation below.
1. Make a checklist and delegate.
Before you head out of the office for your vacation on the beach, it’s important to make a list of your projects, reports, and everyday tasks so that you can delegate the important items to someone else on your team. This will ensure that your work will get done when you’re out and that you’ll have less to get caught up on when you return.
2. Put in extra hours beforehand.
For the projects that cannot be delegated to someone else or ones that you’d rather complete yourself, put in some extra hours before your vacation to make sure they get completed. This will allow you to relax and feel somewhat better about leaving the office.
3. Automate wherever possible.
Any aspect of your role that can be automated for a short amount of time you should consider doing. Whether that means using technology to create reports or setting automated filters on your emails so that you can review them easier upon your return, any type of automation will make your life easier upon your return. You may even find that you can leave those automated processes in place for the long term.
4. Set up out-of-office alerts. One way to alert individuals who are sending you emails that you are away is to turn on your “out of office” feature for your email. No matter your email provider i.e. Outlook, Gmail, etc., the sender will get an automatic response letting them know that you are unavailable. It’s best to put the date frame that you will be out and leave the name and number of a back-up person they can contact in your place. This type of communication is quick, easy to do and can help keep people informed of your absence.
5. Communicate with your team.
You don’t have to wait for a person to receive your out of office to let them know you’ll be on vacation though. It is beneficial for everyone to transparent with your days away. The more your team members know, the better they’ll be able to manage things while you’re gone. The last thing you’d want is for a team member to need something from you and not know that you’ll be gone for two weeks. Telling them about your vacation is considerate and helpful.
6. Block out your calendar for your first day back.
No matter how much you delegate while you’re gone and how much you get done before you leave, when you return to the office there will surely be some catchup needed. It’s a good idea to block out your calendar for at least the first half of the day you return in order to sort through the items you may have missed while on vacation. This will help you get organized, get updated on what happened while you were away and get you prepared for the next task or project to tackle.
What are some other tips to allow yourself time to recharge while on vacation? Let us know in the comments below!