Studies have shown that taking a vacation can improve your physical health, mental health, and overall well-being. Unfortunately, less than 50% of Americans use their allotted paid vacation time and many of those who do can’t seem to disconnect from work while they’re away. At our online marketing company, we encourage you to take a vacation and actually vacate your life. Here’s how to disconnect from work during your time away:
Get your work done
If you tend to work while you’re on vacation, it’s probably because you didn’t finish everything you needed to get done before you left. Do yourself a favor and make a list of what needs to be completed and what can wait until you get back. Then, make sure you check off everything on the to-be-done list. You’ll earn some peace of mind knowing you’re not missing a deadline.
Have someone replace you
If you’re heavily relied upon at your workplace, our online marketing company knows it can be tough to let go and relax. If possible, establish a chain of command in your absence that can handle your tasks while you’re gone. This way there’s someone taking your place and you won’t feel like you’re leaving your company high and dry.
It’s perfectly fine to tell your clients or coworkers that you’ll be available for emergencies. However, if you’re going to do this, make sure you clearly establish what constitutes an emergency. The last thing you want is for someone to contact you for a simple request or a business question that can easily be taken care of by someone else.
Create an out-of-office message
At our online marketing company, we believe one of the best ways to help you disconnect is by setting up a detailed out-of-message reply for your emails. In the message, you can inform emailers of when you’re leaving, when you’re returning, and whom to talk to in your absence. This way you won’t feel pressured to email back and won’t have to worry about clients expecting a reply.
Limit your phone usage
When you have your phone on hand, it can be hard not to check your work email. To avoid doing so, create a rule for yourself that limits your phone usage. If you’re going down to the pool, leave your phone in your hotel room. Or if you decide to see a tourist attraction, keep your phone in your purse or pocket and only use it to take pictures. Work email shouldn’t keep you from enjoying your time with family or friends.
Ease back into your work life
Before you leave for your vacation, do your best to keep your return to work as calm as possible. Try not to schedule important meetings or activities for the day (or even the day after) you get back. A vacation is all about getting away and if you jump right back into lots of work, you’re going to increase your stress level and make yourself miserable.