Today’s workers seem to be constantly bombarded with incoming work notifications to numerous devices. Our planners, phones, laptops, and even fitness trackers notify us of incoming calls, texts, and calendar reminders. While this is important to productivity, everyone deserves to enjoy some time out of the office and away from our electronic devices.
Out of the small number of Americans who take full advantage of their earned time off, an even smaller number actually fully disengage from work while they’re away. Vacation is intended to be filled with relaxation, enjoyment, and adventure, but often the feeling of not being able to step away from work duties gets in the way.
While carving out time for vacation is super important, it’s just as important to fully immerse yourself in your adventures while you’re there. We’re excited to share our top tips for how the chronically connected can disconnect when it matters most.
1. Don’t be afraid to delegate
To alleviate any pre-travel stress about urgent tasks not getting done, make a list of must-do projects that need to be taken care of while you’re gone. Your most trusted teammates will be happy to help out while you’re out of the office, so don’t be afraid to ask for their assistance or have your manager delegate for you.
Additionally, your colleagues from other organizations will need to be notified of your upcoming absence, so be sure to reach out prior to your trip to keep the lines of communication open. By staying organized and communicative you will ensure a smooth transition for all parties. Be sure to include contact information of a main go-to person whom outside colleagues can contact while you’re gone. Though it can be difficult to trust tasks that normally you own will be done correctly, this serves as an opportunity to develop trust and confidence with your teammates.
By covering your bases and preparing ahead of time, you will be sure to achieve maximum vacation mode.
2. Turn off notifications
Though checking our phone may be something we do subconsciously, there are many ways to avoid an accidental glance at our inbox which turns relaxation into hours of work. As soon as you touch down in your destination, disconnect in the easiest way possible by turning off all notifications. Without the constant influx of text alerts, incoming emails, and calendar reminders, you’ll allow yourself to focus completely on relaxing, and leave work where it should be.
Pro tip: Create a new folder in your phone labeled “Do Not Open”, and put all apps that could potentially serve as a distraction from your vacation here. By doing this, you’ll avoid opening these apps out of habit, and make your time off the main priority.
3. Plan serviceless excursions
Though all inclusive resort vacations are amazing for the fact that have limitless food and resort access, they also limit you to just using the resort area so that you feel you’ve gotten your money’s worth. By booking your vacation in a less touristy area, you’ll feel more encouraged to go out and explore the surrounding areas, which are likely lacking in wifi.
A great way to force yourself into out-of-office mode is to plan activities where your phone is inaccessible, such as jungle hikes, remote sunset viewpoints, hidden local beaches, going for a long bike ride, or seeing a local theater show.
4. Don’t use your phone as an alarm
This tip may seem trivial, but if you take a closer look at how using your phone as an alarm impacts the rest of your day, you may consider digging out your old alarm clock.
We all know how it goes — once you’re done snoozing for the 37th time, you go straight into browsing social media networks, your personal email, and finally your work email, all before even getting out of bed. You’ve bogged down your mind with unnecessary stimulation and stress before you’ve even opened the blinds.
Using an alternative alarm clock is a great way to stay physically and mentally disconnected from your phone, and will allow you to start your day by mindfully disconnecting.
5. Map out your first week back
Our last tip is one of the most important, and it’s to have an organized, detailed, plan set in place for what your first week back to work will look like. Make a point to schedule meetings and check-ins with your managers and colleagues for your return, and be sure to give yourself a day or two to catch up on emails. Ask a teammate to keep a log of things you missed while you were away, so that you won’t skip a beat logging back in on your first day back. By using this strategy you’ll feel less obligated to check in and schedule meetings while you’re away.
Power down and start relaxing
Now that you have these strategies to truly enjoy the vacation you’ve worked so hard to earn, it’s time to pack your bags. Make the most of your vacation by preparing ahead of time and being mindful of being fully in the present on your vacation, you’ll come back to the office feeling refreshed and ready to tackle anything.