There are many benefits of a holiday. Holidays are a time to stop thinking of work, and to let thoughts go. We can do this best by getting straight before we go away, and avoiding checking work emails. If you are an employee you shouldn’t be bothered whilst on holiday.
It gets a little different when you work for yourself, like me. But we still want to get the benefits of a holiday. What I do is set myself a couple of times a day when I’ll browse emails, such as to do this whilst drinking coffee after lunch and again late afternoon after my shower. For the rest of my time my mail is set so it doesn’t come through to my phone. This works for me and if you are in a similar position would probably work for you.
We love our holidays, a chance to get away from the daily grid and recharge. This can be 2 weeks in the sun, but it can also be a shorter break too.
Here’s some key tips to get the most benefits of a holiday:
Before you go away – how to get the most benefits of a holiday
Make sure you are up to date on your work, you have checked deadlines and nothing needs to be completed on the first day back.
Set up an auto message to say you are away and to advise people to contact a colleague – who knows what you are doing this or let people know when you will be back, and you can fib and add on an extra day. Even better have your auto message set as ‘all messages received whilst away will be deleted, please resend after <return date>’. If you can’t do this and you return to 1,000+ don’t plan to deal with them all in one day. Gradually deal with them over the coming week. If anything is urgent they’ll send it again.
To get the most benefits from a holiday: Allow time for you to relax. If we go away with family we can be focused on making sure they are having fun, but think about you too.
Have time when you can properly relax rather than to fill each day with activity. Relaxing doesn’t have to be lazing on the sunbed, it could be time to go on a hike or read a great book. Think about what will rejuvenate you and make sure you do this to get the most benefits from a holiday.
And a holiday doesn’t have to be a trip to the beach. If you have chosen to stay at home you could decide to do something different. Perhaps to practice playing a musical instrument each day, or learn a language.
This could be 2 weeks where you go to the gym each day and walk too – a fitness 2-week break sounds good to me and you won’t have put on the weight you then need to shift!
Helpful tips to smooth your return to work, so you get the benefits of a holiday
- Plan your day of return – Spend at least a day at home before returning to work to deal with personal and household tasks and to get your sleep patterns back to normal if you have travelled across time zones. Rather than face a full 5 days back at work could you return on a Thursday so you only face a short week?
- Prioritise your work – You can’t deal with 2 weeks back up in a day or two, so be realistic. Focus on what is important and urgent.
- Don’t stay late to catch up – We can often feel tempted to work late to deal with the back log, but it is much better to keep the evenings free as time for you so you can keep the holiday feeling a bit longer.
- Plan a treat. Maybe not another 2-week holiday but a weekend away or even a day in the country, something that will again take you out of your normal daily life will give you something to look forward to.
- Remind yourself of what you like about the job – It’s too easy to feel dissatisfied with the job when you compare it to a pleasurable holiday, so think about some of the good things about the job and don’t moan to others about how you wish you were still away.