How To Switch Off From Work When You’re On Vacation
With email, social media, and free Wi-Fi everywhere, it can be easy to feel as though you can never shut off from work — even when finally taking a vacation. But vacations from work are necessary to help you feel rejuvenated, rested, and energized when you return. I know I have a difficult time completely switching off from work, but it is possible to take a step back, especially when I remember that I’m a better worker when I return. I think one thing that keeps us all hooked to our job worries when we are away is the worry that something will occur while we are away that requires our attention. But, if you truly think about it, it is likely that work will go on as normal while you are away. Let your job stresses melt away when you get away, so that you feel refreshed when you return.
1. Choose an accommodation without Wi-Fi
If you have a problem switching off from work when there is Internet around, consider choosing an accommodation without free Wi-Fi. That way, you won’t be tempted to check your email while poolside and you can’t work virtually from your room, forcing you to go out and enjoy yourself.
2. Set up an email autoresponder
After you remind your colleagues and bosses prior to leaving for vacation, set up an email autoresponder that states you are out of office and when you’ll return. Colleagues, bosses, and clients can easily forget you’re not in, so a gentle reminder lets them know you’ve received their email and that you’ll respond when you return.
3. Allot yourself 30 minutes of work/internet time (only if you must!)
Shhh … I’m going to break the rules for a minute. Since I work for myself, I typically do work — a tiny bit — when I’m on vacation. But, I only allot myself 30 minutes maximum to check my email each morning, with a cup of coffee in hand. This allows me to handle anything urgent that might come up or send along any finalized projects. This gives me the rest of the day and night to enjoy my vacation guilt free and without worry. Whether you need to spend a bit of time in the morning, at night, or during your child’s naptime, do it, but don’t let it interrupt your vacation.
If you’ve chosen to stay at an accommodation without Internet (good on you!), take this chance to explore the local café scene. Not only will this get you out of your accommodation, but you’ll also get to experience a bit of local culture while spending your 30 minutes of allotted work time in a cafe.
4. Leave your computer at home
If you really need to switch off and allow yourself some time to replenish your creativity, leave your laptop at home. If you don’t have your computer with you, you won’t be tempted to open it up and work on projects.
5. Don’t feel guilty
Everyone needs a vacation from time to time; you shouldn’t feel guilty about completely forgetting about work while you’re gone. And remember, the majority of things that come up can either be dealt with by someone else or can wait until you return. So, enjoy your vacation and return to your job refreshed and relaxed.