How to Really Enjoy Your Next Vacation

How to Really Enjoy Your Next VacationYou’re getting ready for an upcoming vacation.

You’re eager to have some time off to relax, but you’re feeling a bit stressed out.

The last time you took a vacation, you really didn’t feel as if you had enough rest.

Can you really enjoy yourself this time around?

In this post, I offer seven ways to help you unplug from your regular routine and thoroughly enjoy your time off.

Invest time in preparing for your vacation.

You’ve got less than a week before your vacation begins.

Should you wait until Friday before making the necessary arrangements at work for your departure?

Actually, it would be far better if you started that Monday.

The only way to ensure tasks are delegated, projects are covered, and assignments are reassigned, is to put in adequate time to do so.

This can’t be done in a brief fifteen minute period.

Waiting until the last-minute to prepare for your vacation makes things more stressful for you. It also increases the chances you’ll forget about or completely miss an important work item.

That’s not to say accidents don’t happen, but at least you’ll have several opportunities to review your progress with your coworkers and supervisors, should tasks, projects, assignments, and meetings be rescheduled, delegated, or paused.

Avoid forwarding your calls or emails.

Technology makes it so easy to stay in touch. Unfortunately this can be a detriment to you if you’re trying to escape the world of work!

Don’t make it easy for others to get in touch with you (or for you to sneak a peek at your email) while you’re on vacation.

Create away messages on your cell/landline phones and email stating you will be completely unavailable, and unreachable for the duration of your vacation. Be sure to leave a colleague’s contact information at the end of your message in case of an emergency.

Do not forward any of your cell or landline phones to your personal phones. Temporarily disable or block your work email on your personal smart phone and/or other devices.

Don’t take a scrap of work with you.

That’s right, do not take work-related folders, papers, books, reports, tools, briefs, diagrams, devices, blueprints, proposals, sketches, plans, flash drives, or hard drives with you.

Leave it all behind at the office.

And if for some reason you can think of something else that doesn’t fall in the above categories, just follow this piece of advice: don’t take it with you.

You might even decide to go completely off the grid and leave your business cards at home.

Don’t worry, if you should happen to meet someone who wants to get in touch, tell them to look you up on LinkedIn (chances are, you’re on LinkedIn) and send you a message.

Don’t schedule meetings on the day you return to work.

Who wants to worry about a meeting while on vacation? No one, of course!

Do your very best to avoid scheduling meetings and appointments the day you return to the office.

Take a few minutes now to look at your calendar and reschedule things. What can wait until later in the week or even the following week?

If you must hold a meeting on your first day back, opt for later in the day or afternoon, so you’ll have time to process postal mail, email, and the like.

Silence the social media sharing.

Sure, it’s fun sharing vacation events via photo and video with your friends and family. But the problem with this approach is that there is the tendency to spend too much of your time sharing your vacation, than actually living and enjoying it!

So, stop posting, and start experiencing your vacation.

Remember, you can always send or post your favorite images and videos when you return home.

Besides, there’s a safety lesson in this too: posting to social media while you’re on vacation makes it super-obvious that you’re not at home, a definite green light for any would-be thieves who might be shadowing your social media profiles.

Stop watching the clock (and calendar).

One of the joys in taking a vacation is enjoying unstructured time.

You can wake up any time you like, eat whenever you choose, and take part in any activity, whenever you desire.

That being said, why not allow yourself to enjoy this freedom?

There is no law that says vacation time must be planned or scheduled.

You could stop using the alarm clock, put aside your wristwatch or phone, or even ignore the calendar for a few days.

Try it, and see how you feel!

Stop unnecessarily wasting your time.

We’ve all been there. The last day of a vacation. Unfortunately, it’s something that you are pretty much guaranteed to experience.

While it’s normal to feel a bit blue when your vacation is coming to an end, don’t feel as if the fun, or your vacation, has to stop.

Keep this in mind: every minute you spend dreading going back to work during your vacation is another minute you could have been enjoying. Why fritter away your time feeling blue, when you could be hiking your favorite trail, watching an exciting movie, cooking an enjoyable meal, or visiting an intriguing museum?

In fact, this might be a time when you might actually want to plan a fun activity or two to ensure you enjoy yourself, and not fall into a pit of unhappiness before heading back to work.

How about you? Are you taking vacation time over the next couple of weeks? How are you going to enjoy it? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!

Follow Rashelle:
Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.
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