Vacation is the ultimate reset button. Use it!
The weather is beautiful and all I want to do is lay on a hammock. I want to desperately feel the warm splendor hit my body as I hear birds chirping all around me. I can picture the sun peaking through the trees and their leaves rustling in the wind. In one hand I hold a good book, while the other grips a cold summer drink that creates an explosion of flavors in my mouth with each sip.
Reality, check! This rarely happens. *sigh*
Those with family commitments or businesses understand what I mean. Because what we do pulls on our heart-strings we sometimes can’t “unplug” or “disconnect”. We’re constantly bombarded with projects, tasks, soccer practice, client meetings that we tend to forget how to ‘disconnect’.
Recently I was running errands in Back Bay and Downtown Boston trying to finish an important project for a client; when I found myself daydreaming about how great it would be to take some time off. Go somewhere away from the city. Just thinking about it gave me a calming feeling and in that moment I decided it was something I needed to make happen.
Just imagine what it would feel like if you made it a priority to go on vacation with your family or friends. To eat, drink and enjoy yourself while leaving behind the worries, work commitments, the annoying co-worker or client (yes, we all have them).
I know, the inner-critic just surfaced and it’s saying, “Right, easy for you to say” or “You obviously don’t have the commitments “I” have”.
No matter how busy you are, how relevant you are or even how important you are, we all have to recharge and ground ourselves. It is the only way you can recharge your batteries and refresh your creative side. So when you return to the real world you’ll have the energy, the vision and the will to forge ahead.
With that said, with a little prep work you’re guaranteed a smooth transition back into reality:
- Always Plan Ahead
If you work for someone else, be sure your vacation doesn’t coincide with any big projects you want to be around for. Check with your team to make sure they’re not taking time off at the very same time. If you’re a business owner; be sure to arrange appointments in a way it will accommodate your days off. Inform your clients about your pending travels well in advance; and don’t forget to send a reminder. They’re busy too! Be sure to train team members so they can handle the workload while you’re gone. Entrust the person to make decisions on your behalf (I know, scary, but this is an opportunity to train the person who can potentially help you scale your business). At home, make sure you have your home set-up for your departure; but more importantly for a stress free return. Checkout our vacation checklist so you don’t forget anything.
- Big Projects Be Gone
I encourage my clients not to take on big projects before a vacation, you don’t want to be stressed hours or even minutes prior to your departure. Finish all projects if you can or leave a detailed list to the person who will be substituting for you.
- Delegate Away
Designate a point of contact for your home and work while you’re away and give them the information they’ll need to answer any questions regarding your home or work while you’re gone.
- ICE it (In Case of Emergency) ONLY!
Because this time away is to disconnect, be sure your designated person clearly understands what is an emergency. Texting is much less intrusive on your relaxation time, than calling you. What’s your password shouldn’t be an emergency if you delegated properly.
- Get Off The Grid
This is a challenge for most but I encourage you to chose a location with little to no wifi. For those of us who are virtually connected all-the-time we tend to give to temptation when we begin to feel like we should be doing something. So challenge yourself by unplugging the devices and leave them behind.
Which brings me to the next point on my list…
- Leave Work at Work
Don’t forget to leave your work devices at work or at home; unless you are planning to work during your vacation (I really hope not!).
- Settings Are Your Friend
Don’t give in to the notifications. Normally I get them all: texts, calendar, facebook, emails (yes, all four accounts!), apps, etc. Eliminate the distraction by changing the settings to Off, so you don’t get tempted to check your phone while on Vacationland.
- Be Exclusive
If you absolutely must stay somewhat connected, set limits. Be upfront with day(s) and time(s) you will make yourself available by phone or email. This trick makes people think twice on whether they really need you. And for those who really need to reach you will use that precious window of opportunity wisely.
- Because You’re Only Human
As I write this, I can tell you most of us will break some of these rules; and that is perfectly A-OKAY! Just remember, as you reach for your phone and tell yourself “Just one more email”, take a deep breath, forgive yourself, take sip of your margarita and take in the sun.
Focus in being present and in the moment. It is only then when we can truly experience joy and relish gratitude for what you have achieved.
More importantly, don’t forget that help is just one phone call away, so give us a call!