The worst—the absolute worst—is planning, saving, solidifying, and embarking on vacation and not being able to fully enjoy it. What a waste!
One of the quickest way to ruin your vacation would be by worrying, the whole time, about the one thing you needed a vacation from—work. Stress and anxiety while on vacation couldn’t be more counterproductive.
Below is a list of things to do to avoid this at all cost.
1. Prepare Before You Vacate for Vacation
The two weeks (or more) before you leave for vacation is officially your grind time. Your goal is to have all loose ends tied, deadlines met, meetings attended, emails sent, and expectations clear, prior to leaving. This is the first and maybe most important requirement, if you’re looking for your vacation to be relaxing. The more prepared you are to leave, the easier it will be to enjoy your stay away. Vacation peace of mind starts before you hit the beach.
2. Set Expectations
Before leaving for your vacation, let your managers, staff, colleagues, clients, and so forth know that you’ll be off the grid and unavailable to work for a set period of time. Activate your away email message, informing everyone when they may expect a reply from you. Also, let all necessary parties know who to contact or what to do in case of a work emergency. If your work is time sensitive, let your bosses and/or team know what you’ll have done prior to leaving, and what you’ll be tackling when you return. The trick is to tie all of your loose ends. This will help you to relax now, and smoothly transition back into the fold later.
3. Give Yourself 10 Minutes to Check Email (if You Simply Must)
Those who suggest completely unplugging while on vacation have no clue how your anxiety is set up. It’s hard to relax, when your imagination is telling you that all of your work balls are dropping, and the building is most likely on fire. Ease your mind by checking in from time to time, to remain in the loop. The challenge is in catching up on as much as you can, in as little time as possible. As a note, try not to reply to your emails, if you can help it. Replies beget replies, and you may find yourself stuck in correspondence when you’re supposed to be vacationing.
4. Let Yourself Off the Hook
If you made sure to seal all deals, complete any assignments, meet deadlines, and answer emails before leaving for vacation, you should have absolutely nothing to worry about. The best you can do—at any given time—is the best you can do. Be sure to do your part and trust that the rest will fall into place in time.
5. Establish a Productivity ‘Cushion’
Following your vacation and before returning to work, give yourself a small cushion of time to re-enter work mode. Pre-set this time cushion before embarking on your vacation. Knowing ahead of time that you’ll have the space, opportunity, and time to catch up on what you may have missed prior to returning to the office, can work wonders. No need to be anxious—you already know when and how it’ll all get done.
You have the tools to ward off that pesky work anxiety. Now it’s time to make your vacation worthwhile.
Safon Floyd is the Digital Editor at Black Enterprise. Follow her on Twitter @accordingtofon.