Everyone we work with eventually comes to fully appreciate the value of making sure their holiday time is protected as a complete change of pace from regular working life.
Here’s a simple 4-step plan to prepare for quality rest and recovery, and return revitalised, both mentally and physically…
Step1: 3-4 weeks before holiday
Check the date of your final day in the office. Begin planning as if you’re actually leaving the day before.
This will help the final day be a relaxed preparation for your vacation rather than a whirlwind of tying up loose ends.
Add your vacation dates to your email signature so everyone you communicate with can plan accordingly.
Step 2: 2 weeks before holiday
Set aside 30 minutes to brainstorm everything that you think might distract you while you’re away. Then plan how you will minimise the chances of this happening before you go.
Who are you briefing on what projects, what are you telling them?
Ensure clear and consistent messages that convey the full strategy to the point when you return and avoid the temptation to imply that you can be contacted while you’re away if things get sticky.
Your objective is to empower people in your absence and they will appreciate it.
Step 3: 1 week before holiday
Ask yourself, ‘could I step away today?’
And if I did, what might I feel guilty / anxious / worried about during my vacation, or the night before I return to work?
How will I feel on my return to the office? What environment do I want to walk back into? Have I done all I can to set this up?
Ideally your return to the office will be a series of calm updates on how everything went smoothly in your absence. This week, prioritise anything that needs done to maximise the chances of this.
At this point you should also programme a clear visualisation of yourself on vacation, ensuring you are visualising what you want to happen, not what you think could go wrong.
In your head you should be on a beach / up a mountain / fully enjoying your trip with whatever you choose to do, NOT ducking out to check emails / messages or WhatsApp.
Step 4: 1 day before your holiday
Set your out of office and calmly step away.