Stress-Free Vacations: Five Things to Do to Fully Enjoy Your Vacation
“You are a tourist, and you have come here on an incredible vacation. What are you doing? Are you enjoying this existence in its truest sense? Or are you busy saying, “Let me fix the carpets, the walls, the window. Once I am through this, I will really enjoy my vacation. By the time you fix all that, the vacation will be over” –Prem Rawat
Have you ever felt like you needed a brief respite from your daily life?
Are you constantly meeting deadlines and working hard at the office? Well, there is a likely chance that you just need a vacation. Unfortunately, by the time you have filed your leaves and go on that much-needed sojourn in a tropical country or on a Pampanga food trip adventure, you find yourself gripped with things you need to do for work. More often than not, you would find yourself answering calls from your superiors instead of lounging by the pool or completing last-minute documents for a deadline. If all these sounds familiar, there is a likely chance you are not entirely enjoying your vacation at all.
Which begs the question: Why are you even on vacation when you cannot even enjoy it? If you find your children constantly nagging you to join them in the pool or your wife asking you to take your eyes off the cellphone screen, then maybe it is time to reevaluate your attitude for vacation. The truth is, it might seem like you are the only one not enjoying your holiday break but it is very likely that your children, your family would want you to spend time with them by being physically and mentally present in the moment. In any case, whether you have subjected your family and friends or family to this behavior countless times or not, here are some of the tips for a stress-free vacation:
Give notice well before taking off
To avoid being reprimanded or written off by superiors, let your managers and colleagues know well in advance about your plan to take a break. In this way, they would have more than enough time to find back-resources should you be needed in the office. Ideally, you should let your superiors know a month in advance so that they can make the necessary preparations. After all, you would not want to have a big deadline looming over you a week before taking off. Furthermore, you would not want to ruffle any of your colleagues’ feathers by taking off when there is still important work to be done in the office.
Clarify project status
Ideally, it is best to wrap up all of your projects before leaving for vacation. However, in the event that you would not be able to finish it before taking off, let your managers and colleagues know the complete status updates of every project you are working on. Furthermore, walk them through what they need to do should they wish to complete it themselves. List the steps and the specific people who are tasked with the follow up while you are away.
Finish up projects
Much like it is stated above, it is best to finish projects before taking off. After all, you would better enjoy your vacation if you did not have to think of a deadline that would be waiting for you when you come home. In this regard, finish off your projects and then hand them to a colleague or client and declare that it is done. Try to do that with as many projects as you can handle before you leave. It will help you mentally prepare for your vacation better and would help you enjoy it as well.
Let your colleagues know about your availability while you are away. This means letting them know whether you are available to talk while you are on vacation or whether or not you will be responding to their emails. Should you wish to check in every now and then, be very clear about what they should expect of your availability. Would your insistence on checking in connote as an agreement to be available for any conference calls or new assignments? Or should you be disturbed under no circumstance at all? These are the things you have to be very clear with prior to leaving. Remember, if you constantly checked up on work while you are away, that sends the message to your colleagues that you are available.
Close communication loops
Try to close as many communication loops as possible. Declare that you would be away for a period of time and designate someone else to follow-up communications if possible. Furthermore, extract yourself from email threads that can potentially grow long while you are away or you would be tempted to check in every now and then while you are away. Doing this will help your colleagues and superiors manage their expectations that you would not be available to respond. Furthermore, it mitigates the possibility of having to respond to an influx of incoming emails and chat messages upon your return.
So, if you have a vacation coming up and would wish to enjoy every minute of it, take these tips and techniques into account. After all, how can you expect to fully immerse yourself in a foreign country if you had to look at your phone every thirty minutes or so? Take a breather, and make sure that when you are on vacation, you are not only physically but mentally there as well.