We all struggle to unplug (notice how this post went live on Labor Day?). When Inc. asked 12 experts their hacks for taking time off, I was quick to point out planning around holidays is key. Personally, I like to plan my vacations around existing holidays because it’s unlikely there will be any “urgent requests” during this time. Thus, a true holiday is born with no pressing emails, no worries, and when I do happen to go online, I can take care of things quickly.
Other tips include combining vacations with work trips and commit to unplugging everything for at least five hours per day. The real goal, according to one pro, is to relieve yourself of all responsibilities—not just the work-related ones. And if you can’t totally unplug, at least make sure you work in style and comfort. You have a lot more control over that (plus it’s a fun challenge!).
Set up a vacation voicemail and out of office reply to let others know when you’ll return. If you can manage it, leave your computer at home (you’ll survive, I promise!). Plan two weeks in advance if you can, and make sure you build in time to get where you’re going and decompress when you return. You don’t want to feel like you need a vacation from your vacation. If you’re an email addict, indulge yourself, but set a 30 minute limit. Finally, aim for shorter vacations more frequently. They’re easier to squeeze into a busy schedule.