Are you afraid that you cannot afford to let go of your work because of your work load? Do you work long hours and spend your evening neurotically checking your emails leaving you with no time to wind down? If your answers are ‘yes’ then you can consider yourself a workaholic.
Although it’s important to have a sense of ownership and take pride in your work, for your own well-being it is important that you give yourself the chance to relax and bond with those around you.
Here are some tips to help you make up your mind on taking that well-deserved summer break and to switch off your work brain while on holiday.
Before you go on holiday
The ideal recipe for a relaxing vacation begins long before you reach the airport. Planning your pre-vacation weeks is essential to tie up loose ends and reduce any guilt feelings for taking time off. Make sure not to schedule any tasks that you believe you can do while you’re away. Delegate any important tasks to colleagues so you’ll know that the work flow is maintained. Moreover, you won’t find a massive backlog when you’re back.
It is suggested that you start winding down before you actually leave for your trip. This will help your mind adjust itself to relaxing time and not feel a sense of unease because all of a sudden you’re not working.
While on holiday
For some of us it is not truly realistic to completely let go of our emails due to the nature of our work or due to the level of responsibility. It is fine to scan your emails occasionally but be strict with yourself to not overdo it. Experts say that a quick check will help you relax even more knowing that nothing catastrophic is happening in your absence. However, do not be tempted to action anything that doesn’t need to be. This will actually put you on work mode and make you feel stressed.
Checking your email occasionally means that you have to let go off your smartphone. Allow yourself to go on activities without hearing notifications of your incoming messages. You can either leave your phone in your hotel room or put it on silent. This will help you concentrate on enjoyable moments and get a better quality rest.
Plan your return
Thinking of what may be awaiting for you once you’re back at work may make your vacation withdrawal syndrome worse. First thing you need to do once back in the office is to allow yourself sometime to quantify the real work that is waiting for you and prioritise things that need urgent attention. That way you don’t build an imaginary mountain of work that in reality does not exist. Until you figure things out it is also a good idea to leave your out of office on to leave the expectation of response and level of interruption to a minimum.
Planning your return will make you feel reassured that you can be in control once again and maintain that relaxed new you as long as possible. Don’t be tempted to work late to make up for your time away as this will only take you back to your bad habits and fizzle out the benefits of your vacation. Instead, if you discovered any of the activities practiced during your holiday to be therapeutic you should encourage yourself to try and continue these when you return.
So why not book your holiday now? A great vacation can give you a new lease of life, offering new perspectives and time to truly indulge in yourself. It can also do wonders for your professional life, making you more productive and give better quality results.