People don’t really want to work while they’re on vacation, but sometimes it’s inevitable. There are always emails to send, reports to compose, briefs to proof, and meetings to schedule, even as you’re lying on a hammock on a tropical beach hundreds of miles away from your office. However, it’s still important to find the right equilibrium between making sure that things get done, and giving your body and mind a break from the grind. Here’s how to balance work and leisure on vacation.
Set Times And Stick To Them
As necessary as it may be to stay in touch with your office, it’s also necessary to enjoy being where you are, both for your own sake and that of the people who might be traveling with you. To that effect, allot certain times for checking your phone or opening your laptop – ten minutes every hour, for example. Balancing work and leisure on vacation is not a fifty-fifty deal, it is a compromise.
It’s also important to adhere to the work window you’ve created on your vacation. Don’t let ten minutes every hour become fifteen minutes every half an hour. Sticking to a plan will help your mind take a breather and still enjoy some punctual discipline and organization.
Let Your Office Know Your Vacation Plans
Letting your coworkers and supervisor know your vacation dates is a no-brainer, but also important is to let the relevant people know the status of the work under your purview before you leave. Doing so will let you have the right amount of space to still stay connected to your office, while giving you time to actually spend on your vacation.
There’s nothing more distracting or annoying for an office trying to get some work done, only for the person who was supposed to be on vacation checking in like clockwork to make sure things happen. Your co-workers may appreciate your dedication to getting the job done, but let them know that you’re going to be in touch, and when they can expect to hear from you.
Keeping everybody in the loop about your work-on-vacation plans will help your office work with your schedule as well, letting you accomplish everything you need to do in the window you’ve given yourself, without infringing on your actual vacation time.
Remember That You’re On Vacation
At some point during your working vacation, you may find yourself frustrated that there’s not much more work you can do. For all the phone calls, instant messages and e-mails, you can’t go to someone’s office or have an important lunch date. It’s essential to accept those limitations – even with your smartphone and laptop, you knew that there was only so much you would be able to do from your hotel room. Understanding that the amount of work you can get done is going to be minor will help you go a long way in actually enjoying your vacation. Unless you can actually bring your entire office with you, don’t expect your break to be business as usual.
Engage in the Vacation
Even if you have to get work done while on vacation, don’t spend the rest of your time cooped up in a hotel room, watching TV until it’s time to check in with the office. For workaholics, this means your vacation will need structure – a structured tour will be far superior than aimless wandering. Give your phone to someone you trust, so that you’re not tempted to sneak a peek at your inbox, and won’t be distracted by a co-worker calling in. You are, after all, still there to enjoy yourself and take a break from work.
Keeping yourself fresh and relaxed will help you get more done when you do call in to your office, than if you let work pervade the time you should be spending with your friends or family.