10 Ways to Detach From Work During Vacation

10 Ways to Detach From Work During Vacation

Summer is here, and you may be planning a little time off work. But in a world where the office follows us home in our back pockets, it can be almost impossible to disconnect from work fully. Believe it or not, though, it is possible! Taking a real break from work will give you a more enjoyable vacation that will help you feel refreshed and invigorated.

Here are 10 ways to detach from work during vacation.

Finish up as much as you can before you leave

To create a peaceful, uninterrupted period while you're away, complete all pending projects beforehand. Take the time to address unfinished tasks and ensure everything is complete during your absence.

Set your email to auto-reply

Set up an out-of-office message to let people know you're not at work now. Be sure to include your vacation dates in the email and to provide an alternative contact people can reach out to for urgent matters.

Establish a plan for emergencies

Establish a clear plan for emergencies to avoid getting phone calls from the office while on vacation. If your email is on an auto-reply, give your phone number to your immediate manager in case of a real emergency.

Turn off all notifications on your phone

Take advantage of your phone's Do Not Disturb feature while on vacation. This way, no one can call, message, or email you while you're away. While you likely can't do this for your entire vacation, you can reserve this for quality times while on your getaway, like an afternoon at the beach, a morning at the spa, or an evening out at a restaurant with your partner.

Use a different email address for vacation needs

Don't use your work email address for anything related to your vacation, such as boarding passes, hotel reservations, and car rental information. Instead, provide the contacts sending these documents with another email address. This way, you won't get pulled into your work emails when accessing these documents during your vacation.

Leave your laptop at home

Yes, you can leave home without your laptop. If you've finished all open projects before you go and set a clear protocol for emergency contact while you're away, there's no reason to assume you'll need it during your vacation.

Use the inside-outside rule

If you cannot disconnect entirely while on vacation, try this rule: Only open work emails when inside your hotel or rental. When you step outside, anything related to work is out. This simple but powerful rule can give you a break from work without cutting it off for the entire trip.

Avoid talking about work

Avoid discussing work topics when interacting with friends, family, or travel companions on vacation. Redirect conversations to other subjects of interest and immerse yourself in non-work-related discussions.

Trust your team

If you're leaving work for a few days or more, you need to have confidence in the team back at the office. You have to believe they can hold it down without you. Once you've prepared them for your leave and provided any instructions they may need, just let go.

Plan your return

When you return, prepare for a pile of work on your desk. Block out your first day back so it's free of meetings to allow the slow ease back into your work schedule while tackling all urgent matters first. Breathe deeply, and try to bring the energy of your vacation into the office with you so it keeps you going for a long, long time.

Take a real break this summer and disconnect from work while on vacation.