You’ve likely been there before—in desperate need of a vacation but afraid to leave behind the tons of work that must be done—that growing, urgent pile of work that will inevitably be waiting for you upon your return.
You wouldn’t be the first to be faced with that situation.
In fact, you’re probably like many vacationers who try to avoid that very situation by balancing it all at once, getting their relaxation on while simultaneously assuring their office isn’t burning down.
Though this may sound all good theoretically, it rarely ever goes that smoothly—something always wins. Either you’re constantly checking emails and taking calls; ultimately defeating the purpose of vacation, or you give in completely to vacating, ignoring all communication with the office and you return to head-swooning work overload.
Keynote speaker, executive trainer and founder of national corporate consulting company, Professional Matters, Dana Brownlee, has a solution for your balancing issue with her 95% unplugged vacation mode. Check out her insight below:
- Get Your Significant Other On Board. This one seems like it may be tough, but Brownlee suggests getting an agreement from your spouse/partner upfront letting them know exactly what you need, time, and how long it will take you to do it.
- Know When to Say No. The plan is 5% business — just enough to keep your sanity, respond to emergencies, and keep operations flowing. If you find yourself itching to handle a task that can be performed when you get back, don’t.
- Set a specified amount of ‘check-in time.’ No more than this amount
of time, and definitely less if you can manage it.
- Use Family Downtime Wisely. Only check-in or conduct business activities during family downtime. You may have to alter your personal vacation sleep schedule to accommodate work and family—consider the sacrifice worth it. If your family happens to make a quick run giving you alone time to get things done, have at it.
- Don’t bring laptops or other devices that might encourage work. The idea is that you shouldn’t PLAN to do any work. Only allow yourself to respond to communications as absolutely needed to maintain your sanity and keep things afloat in your absence.
- Know when to pull back. If anyone in your family starts complaining, you’re probably beyond the 5% mark, so pull back and refocus. If you’re working too much, what’s the point in the vacation?
To find out more about work-life balance, team building and professionalism visit ProfessionalismMatters.com.