It’s another classic installment of the Selling For Life Podcast as Steve, Al and Kevin share ideas about unplugging from your job when you are on vacation. The inspiration for this topic comes from the fact Al is one week into a marathon vacation across the country with his family and in-laws. Unplugging is an essential part of being productive. Everyone needs a break from the daily grind. But getting away can often be stressful in itself. You’ve heard the expression “needing a vacation from your vacation”. What leads to this? Often it’s lack of planning and a mindset. Al shares his thoughts on the subject. Here are some tips to unplugging according to Alamo Rental Car.
1) Give Notice and Prepare in Advance
Let no one say your vacation caught him or her off guard. Plan your vacation well in advance, and notify co-workers of your pending absence as early as possible. Block out your vacation dates on your work calendar so co-workers will see you are unavailable for meetings or calls on those days.
In the weeks before you depart, do any work you can in advance to save yourself from stress or being overwhelmed when you return to the office.
2) Establish a Chain of Command in Your Absence
Select one or two co-workers to act as your backup during your absence. Fill them in on all projects and commitments they might need to handle while you’re away. If you work closely with clients or outside vendors, let them know of your departure and whom they can connect with while you’re away.
3) Leave Emergency Contact Information
Hopefully, nothing erupts at the office while you’re relaxing at the hotel pool. But if something does ignite, make sure your primary work contact has your emergency contact information and can quickly reach you. Be sure to specify what qualifies as an emergency so you’re not getting pinged for faux fire drills continuously throughout your trip.
4) Create a Detailed Out-of-Office Reply
Draft an out-of-office reply email that indicates how long you’ll be away and provides specific contact information for the person filling in for you while you’re gone. Here is your opportunity to let your contacts know that you won’t be responding immediately to emails, and that they should email you again after your return to the office. This allows you to depart for your vacation guilt-free, because anyone who emails you will be told you’re not there and who to contact if in need of immediate assistance.
Every workplace has different standards for disconnecting during vacations. It may not be realistic to go completely dark. In that case, communicate to bosses and co-workers about exactly how often you will be available to check emails or return calls during your absence. Also, let your travel companions know in advance so they know how often you might be checking in with work while you’re away. Once on vacation, stick to your plan.
5) Disable Email Notifications and Develop a Check-in Routine
Few things can put a damper on vacation more than hearing your phone ping with new email alerts. Who sent me something? What’s wrong? What do I need to do? And just like that, you’re distracted. Eliminate these distractions by disabling your email notifications or deleting your email app entirely.
If you can’t afford to completely turn off your work emails, establish a specific time — and time limit — for checking email each day. Then only address the highest priority items and delegate the rest. Doing this will help you stick to your plan and maintain consistent expectations for yourself and your team.
6) Go Analog: Leave Your Smartphone in Your Hotel Room
Remember when you looked at your watch to check time and took pictures with a camera rather than your smartphone? Revert to that simpler time by leaving your smartphone in the hotel so you’ll avoid the temptation to peek at work emails. At first you might find yourself reaching in your pocket to check email or Facebook, and feel a flutter of anxiety when you realize your smartphone is missing. But soon you’ll discover the freedom that comes with being disconnected from the digital world and the joy of living in the moment with your family.
7) Re-acclimate After Your Return
Alas, every vacation must come to an end. When you return home, skim your emails as you unpack. You’ll eliminate stress and save yourself time your first day back at the office. And while you’re at it, picture the next few places you’d like to visit. Having a vacation in sight is always a good thing.