Last updated: 12:23 PM ET, Tue July 07 2015

5 Tips on How to Make Work During Vacation Work

Features & Advice | Tom Bastek | July 07, 2015

5 Tips on How to Make Work During Vacation Work

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There's those times when work follows us on vacation. It's inevitable in this age of earned vacation days left untaken  and ubiquitous technology that allows for availability 24/7. But those cocktails and that white sandy beach are calling. So to maximize your time basking in paradise and minimize periods hunched over a laptop, here are some tips:

Use The Out Of Office Assistant

Almost every email program has some sort of vacation responder, and some even have detailed responders that can send different responses to different categories of people. If you will be checking your email at a particular time of day, this can be added to the message. Another good thing to add is the contact info of someone else in the organization who may be able to answer them if they require a quicker response. 

Turn Notifications Off

Just because you have the auto responder on doesn’t mean you are not going to get email. They are still going to funnel into your inbox all vacation long. Have your phone/tablet/computer fetch email from the server once a day, when you are actually going to be there checking it. Walking through Disneyland with your phone emitting a notification tone every few minutes is going to instinctively draw your attention away from enjoying the vacation.

Leave Clear Expectations And Put Things In Perspective

More than half of your work can be avoided with clear expectations left behind for your staff/covering person while you are away. Give those people the times that you are going to check in (if at all), what is expected of them while you are away, and what constitutes an emergency. If you only want to be contacted if the office is on fire, make sure that they know that. Otherwise you will be fielding texts, emails and eventually calls that will be about things that more than likely they could have handled on their own.

Get Up Early

Getting up and going down to the business center at the hotel or even out to the pool area is a great way to find some peace and quiet and also gives you first dibs at the fresh coffee. You also can leave the kids and spouse in bed so that you don’t get that, “Aww, come on mom, can’t you put the work aside for one day?” You will also typically be fresher than if you try to work after everyone is in bed.

Be Honest With Yourself

Make sure you know exactly what is expected of you. Get with your boss and find out what you really need to worry about. Don’t give yourself a coronary over work — it will be there when you get back. If you have to, rationalize it out like this: You will be happier and more productive with a well defined break from the norm. If you are working the whole time you are a way, you will be less than happy upon your return and probably even more burnt out. Remember, getting away is for getting away!

Follow these few tips and you can have a well deserved vacation and not catch any grief from the family about working when you are supposed to be wading into the water.

Check out additonal information about the importance of taking a vacation.


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