In this high tech age of technology it can be quite difficult to unplug yourself from your work. Whether it’s your smartphone, laptop, tablet or iPad, you have more ways than ever of staying in touch with work and this can make unwinding near impossible. If you’ve been in the workforce for a while, you might recall a time when these items didn’t exist and workers could really relax on their time off without fear of being exposed to work. We hope to transport you back to that time with some tips to become untethered to your work over the upcoming holiday period.
Firstly to give yourself the best chance at success, you need to understand it’s very important to unwind and give yourself a break from work. Doing so will have you return to work refreshed, revitalised and more productive than ever. Aside from that, your family will appreciate it too. While you may not admit it, it could be quite rare when they get you and only you, as we’re all guilty of not being completely in the moment at times. If you can accept and embrace this need to unwind, the tips below should help you have your best and most relaxing family holiday ever.
Prepare your co-workers. Chances are that someone else will have to do some of your tasks while you’re away. Making it easier on the co-worker who will be filling your shoes is your first step to not being contacted while you’re away. Prepare a list of what is expected of you and give it to them well before you’re due to leave. Be sure they understand what is required of them and endeavour to answer any questions they may have well before you leave.
Learn to delegate. If you’re a manager or supervisor, holidaying can be even harder because of your extra responsibilities. Assigning some or all of your duties to your subordinates is a great way of getting tasks done and it assists in developing your team’s skill levels. It can be an irresistible challenge for a team to attempt to handle all that is thrown at them in the absence of a manager without needing to contact that manager.
Make sure you’re unplugged. While it’s not always possible, if it is a work only device, try to leave it at work. If this isn’t possible, aim for a mid-point, such as only checking emails at certain times of the day i.e. once in the morning and once at night and be sure to let colleagues and clients know this from the outset. You’ll be able to concentrate on enjoying your time away from work and time with your family.
Plan ahead. If you’re like most people, you’ll book significant leave absences in advance. In fact most companies require at least one months notice for any reasonable length leave request anyway and this creates an ever better chance for you to have a work free leave period. Aim to schedule important tasks or projects outside your scheduled leave dates if possible. If you don’t control this, be sure the people that do are aware of your planned absence.
Back to it. Remember once you get back to work after being untethered, you can expect a little more work than you’re used to and you may feel overwhelmed. You can lessen this feeling by scheduling a day or even two to catch up. Set some time aside to talk with your boss and your subordinates or teammates to see how everything went in your absence and allocate a decent amount of time to address the correspondence that’s inevitably piled up.
Hopefully these tips will result in you really being able to recharge your batteries on your next leave period. Please share any tips you’ve got for achieving a work-free holiday, especially if you’re in a more demanding role.