In the fast paced, productivity culture that we live in, vacation has been turned into an afterthought or made to seem like a lazy thing to do. However, especially for the high-acheiving, go getters, time off is absolutely essential to sustaining a healthy work-life balance. Here are a few tips for how to plan and maximize your time of rest.
Consider the Type of Vacation You Need
Believe it or not, there are different types of vacations that will greatly effect the results you get from your time away. Consider what it is that you need to refresh on. Maybe you need a time of spiritual rejuvenation or maybe you’re needing to unwind after a season of being constantly revved up. Whatever it is, plan time away that will specifically fill the cup that is currently empty. For example, if you need some relaxation, don’t plan a vacation that is full of high energy activity. This will leave you in a position to come back to work just as empty as before.
Make Your Vacation Make Sense
There are a whole slew of vacation options out there, but not everything will fit you best. Just because you haven’t visited a particular location, doesn’t mean that you have to go there on vacation. Again, depending on what you’re needing from your vacation, you may need to just stay put and spend time with family and friends. Also, consider your finances. If you have the money to spend, then do whatever you want, but if you don’t, consider what can work with your budget. Going into debt for time away may end up pouring more stress and tension into your life, which defeats the purpose altogether.
Schedule a “Get Ahead” Day
If at all possible, get ahead on some of the things you’re needing to accomplish. It’s worth it to work some extra hours before you leave in order to remove some of the stress of the work that will pile up while you’re gone. One way to help you do this is to plan for the first day of your time away to be your final work day before you leave. According to your team, you’re on vacation but according to your family, it’s your final work day. This will allow you to isolate yourself a bit with no communication and no distractions from your team members. It will give you the opportunity to really buckle down and get a few important things done before you head out. This is important because you’re likely to have increased stress if you know that there are loose ends out there.
Designate a Point Person
One of the most beneficial things you can do is to designate and empower someone to make decisions on your behalf while you’re gone. This allows for things to keep rolling in your absence. The last thing you want is for everything to come to a standstill when you leave. This can result in enormous pressure when you get back or constant interruptions while you’re trying to unwind. That’s not fair to anyone. Empower someone to be the go to person for all that you oversee. You’ll be so grateful that you did and it will provide opportunity for that individual to grow.
Schedule a “Catch Up” Day
Just like planning your first day out as your final work day, plan your last day of vacation as a catch up day before you return to the office. According to your family, it’s your first day back in the office and according to your team, you’re still away on vacation. You can spend the day off site, getting caught up on emails and other details that you missed. This allows you to be fully up to speed when your team is expecting you to hit the grown running when you return.