I learned last summer, that taking vacation can be complicated. Essentially, vacation should be about having a break from your every day routine. Now that we work from home offices and Wi-Fi gives us email access everywhere, taking a break requires a concerted effort to disconnect.
My first week off last summer was not a break. I was planning to use the week as if it were six Saturdays in a row. I was going to catch up on house chores, run errands and gorge on Netflix. Because I was feeling pretty low key about it, I did not plan appropriately.
I didn’t tell my clients or make arrangements to hand over my projects to my capable colleagues. I don’t think I even put my out of office notifier on.
Guess what happened? I worked every day. Not all day, like I usually do, but every day.
Halfway through the week, my husband declared that I was not on a stay-cation but rather a fake-cation. (And in his opinion, I was fooling no one!)
But I learned my lesson.
I am planning for my summer time off now. I am blocking the time on my calendar and sharing it with my colleagues. When the time off gets closer, I will work it into project plans and let my clients know who will be driving while I am doing other (non-work) things.
I will make plans for each day – special stuff that I would not ordinarily do. I’ll leave some flex time so that I could take advantage of any particularly good weather. The only things that will be outlawed will be Zoom, Teams and Slack.
It feels good to make some plans. Go ahead and make some of your own.