Vacations should be relaxing. They are one of the best ways to decompress and get away from a hectic and busy life. However, many of us have a difficult time disconnecting from work and the other things in our lives that we really should leave behind when we leave for vacation.
“Vacations are for unplugging: we all need to escape the daily grind from time to time, after all. But that doesn’t have to mean unplugging from the entire internet. In fact, you may have a more enjoyable and meaningful vacation by staying connected – as long as you’re staying connected to fun, friends, and family, rather than to work,” says Alexandra Samuel on Harvard Business Review.
“That takes a combination of planning, tech tricks, and self-discipline. In an ideal world, you’d work-proof your devices and online activities so that you could use the phone, computer or internet without coming into contact with any work-related stuff,” she adds.
We all know getting away from work and other life stresses is easier said than done. Here are some tips to help you disconnect completely (or somewhat) so that you can recharge your body’s battery and enjoy your vacation to the fullest:
- Plan ahead of time: Planning for any trip is critical. Whether you are planning to get away from things completely or cut out work only, start thinking now about how you can do that. If this means working extra hours in advance so you can enjoy your vacation distraction-free, then do it. Getting things in order before you leave places less stress on you to check on those things when your vacation starts. And don’t forget to turn on your out-of-office email setting!
- Have a group game plan: Make sure everyone is on the same page. This means telling your work colleagues not to send you emails. It also means having an agreement with the other people you are travelling with about technology use during the trip.
- Determine allowable technology: Disconnecting doesn’t mean that you have to completely shut yourself off from technology. There are many great travel apps, games and entertainment you can use technology for.
- Leave the work devices at home: Eliminate the temptation by leaving your work-related devices at home. You can still travel with your personal phone and tablet and use these on your trip. Just make sure they’re not connected to work accounts.
- Schedule tech time: If you have to check in with work or check your email, set up a schedule in advance. This may include checking your email for 20 minutes in the morning or spending a half hour each day to check in at the office. Just stick to your schedule, and don’t go over the time you allotted unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Following this advice will help you to better control the temptation to revert to work mode when you should be doing other things, such as enjoying your much-needed vacation.