Ah, vacation from work. For many of us, it’s a pretty elusive concept. More and more people these days aren’t taking their allotted time off from work, and many work while on vacation. Yes, we’re all busy. And yes, no one wants to feel like they’re missing important things. But studies have shown that not taking breaks from work just makes you burn out. And when you’re burned out, your productivity goes way down. Which defeats the whole purpose of working hard, right?
The next time you actually take time off from work, stick to these rules to make sure your hard-earned vacation doesn’t go to waste.
Flickr user iakoubtchnik
1. Plan Ahead
The best way to make sure your time off doesn’t cause you more stress is to plan for it. It might mean working a little longer for the week or so leading up to your time off, but it’ll be worth it when you take off with nothing left behind to worry about.
2. Give Everyone Plenty Of Notice
It might seem obvious, but all your colleagues and your supervisors are caught up in their own work too, and they might not remember you’re taking time off from work if you mention it a month ahead and then never again. Make sure it’s clear on your calendar, and remind your boss a few times.
3. Make Your Out-Of-The-Office Message Helpful
While the standard “I’m out of the office, I’ll be back on this day” works fine, but a great way to make sure your email isn’t horrifying when you get back is to direct people to someone else at your office. They might not be able to answer every question, but they can keep the basics covered for you until you’re back.
4. Don’t Leave A Bunch of Work For Your Last Day
The worst thing to have happen when you leave for vacation is to leave things half finished. Don’t assume you’ll finish up a bunch of work on your last day – get as much done as you can beforehand and leave your last day light. That way you can get things organized for when you get back, and you’ll feel confident that everything is taken care of.
5. If You Must, Check In ONCE A Day, For ONE Hour
Sometimes, despite all your best efforts, something big happens while you’re gone and you have to check in. When that happens, limit yourself to checking email once a day, and keep it under an hour. An emergency that you didn’t count on isn’t your fault, and you shouldn’t have to stop the vacation you planned on to deal with it.
6. Come Home A Little Early
Coming back from a long vacation and immediately heading back to work the next morning is a guaranteed way to get the post-vacation blues. Stave it off by coming home one day earlier, and take some time to get laundry done, buy groceries, and just decompress for a night.
What other tips for what not to do when taking time off work do you swear by? Tell us in the comments below! And remember, to give your employees snacks to look forward to when they get back from vacation, check out the Love With Food office snack plans!