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Is there such a thing as a stress-free vacation?

Posted by Amy Xiong on Tue, Jul 03, 2012 @ 12:00 PM

medium 807561379The hot balmy summer is here, and I bet you’ve been daydreaming about beaches and fruity drinks; the open lake, fishing and drinking beer; or just not being at work. Vacations are a lot of a fun and a must for all you go-getters who are constantly running, but what’s the point of going on  vacation if it doesn’t help you de-stress and reduce your chances of burning out?

When you decide to go on vacation, make sure the dates work for you, and your boss. Plan for a time where there are not a lot of big projects and when there is someone to cover for you while you are out. This will keep you from stressing out about projects that are happening and allow you to focus on RELAXING.

It’s best that your vacation is planned far in advance so you and your team are prepared. Everyone should know their responsibilities while you are away. This ensures none of the projects will be on hold waiting for you to get back. You should also have someone who can make important decisions while you are gone and can take notes at important meetings to review on your return. Also, let your coworkers know you will be on vacation and when you are returning. This allows them to get your feedback before you leave. This may mean a little extra work for you before your big trip, but it’s better to be done ahead of time than to come back to a big pile of work.

It’s also good to remind your boss and others of your upcoming trip so they aren’t caught off guard when you leave. Everyone has a lot going on and doesn’t have your vacation days memorized. A friendly email reminder beforehand will help them keep the dates in mind. This way everything can be wrapped up before you head out, and you aren’t scrambling as you’re trying to get out the door.

Try to unplug and disconnect while you are on vacation. However, if there are a few extra minutes in the morning or at night, go through your email so you aren’t spending your first day back at work strictly cleaning out your inbox. But remember, a vacation is about enjoying your time with your traveling companions away from the office and the computer screen, so get rid of the ‘just one more email’ mindset.

It’s also a good idea to clean up your desk and make sure everything is organized and ready to go when you come back. I just got back from a week in London, and although it was an amazing experience; not everything went according to plan. We took a trip to the emergency room and missed our flight back. It was definitely nice coming back to a clean desk and no overwhelming inbox.

Another must is giving yourself at least ONE DAY to recuperate after your vacation. One thing everyone feels is the need for a vacation after their vacation. This is because they are exhausted or jetlagged or had one of those vacations running around sightseeing without actually relaxing. You need one day of sleeping in your own bed and eating a home cooked meal before returning to work. It was one of the best things for me when I got back.

Here are a few take-aways for planning your vacation:

Preparation:

  • Plan Your Vacation
  • Get Approval
  • Set up a back up

On Your Vacation:

  • Relax
  • Skim emails to stay ahead
  • RELAX

Day Before Going Back To Work:

  • Journal a summary of your vacation
  • Respond to emails
  • Get ready to re-engage

What stress free plans do you have for the summer? Let us know tips you have for planning a stress free vacation.

Looking for a reason to head out of town? Check out our list of the top conferences to attend this summer and see if you can parlay a work trip with a destination on your bucket list. Now that’s a win-win.

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Tags: stress-free vacation

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