It’s finally that time of the year...I have been preaching about using up all your vacation days and now’s the time to commit. Americans are taking far less time off than our European counterparts, and possibly to the detriment of our sanity. I am advocating for your health, physical and mental, take time off! You deserve it, we deserve it!
To be fair, I know how hard it can be to leave your office without answering that last email, finishing up the one project, making sure you have crossed off all your to-do list musts. But remember, vacation is more than a summertime luxury which is why you must let go. It will be there when you get back and if there is ever a time to justify pushing back the workload, it is the holidays, when those around you will also be breaking up for some time away. Rome wasn’t built in day and you can’t save the world all on your own. The holidays are a great excuse to unplug and enjoy time with friends and family.
With my pep talk complete, here are five things that might help you eliminate the extra stress of stepping away and putting that out-of-office reply on your email.
Plan for When You Get Back - Get those important meetings booked before you leave. Make sure you have deadlines scheduled out that are realistic and that give you time to get back into the flow of things when you return.
Utilize your Team - I know delegation can be hard but all the successful people I know do this and do it well. Make sure to ask for help; set up a time to talk with your team about what items they can address while you’re off recharging the batteries with travel or relaxation.
Put Technology to Work for You, Then Set It Aside - Set up auto-replies for your email, change your voicemail message and reroute anything that will need immediate attention. With this said, if you must peek at work stuff, try not to respond to anything that is not urgent while away. Seriously consider a Wi-Fi break for the holidays! It will help you to truly relax and refocus on connections with those around you.
LEAVE WORK AT THE OFFICE - No you don’t! Step away. Leave it. This holiday season you are traveling with good company...eating and drinking yourself into a food coma lol!
Prioritize All the Extras - Do you really have to make your famous apple pie for the office party this year? Or have the best Christmas cards for colleagues? Skip a few office parties and holiday get-togethers…we know you are feeling guilty about not attending but it’s okay. You can’t go to every function nor do you have to. We get in a rut of doing optional things ‘just because’ or out of a false sense of obligation...then the holidays become a busy blur. But if we look at what we really need to get done, quite a few things on our grand holiday list will fall off.
Eat, Drink, & Be Merry,