Here are seven ways to proactively make the most of your time away from the office.
Good for you. You’ve finished work for another year and you’re about to have two weeks of uninterrupted time off the clock. Making the most of it isn’t always as easy as you picture it to be, though, and being switched off from the working world doesn’t mean that it’s switched off from you.
Before leaving for your holiday try to de-clutter your office and organise your work affairs as much as possible. That way, you’ll find it easier to mentally remove yourself from work over the break, knowing you won’t be hit with a confused mess on your return. And don’t forget to put your out of offices on.
Holiday aren’t really about setting rules, but if you want to relax you’re going to need to set certain some clear boundaries. If you must check work emails or make work phone calls, set a time during the day to do so. That way, your partner isn’t going to get annoyed when your tapping away on your laptop next to the fire. We’d recommend doing it first thing in the morning to get it out of the way.
Write down on a piece of paper the three things that give you the most joy. Then plan your holidays around these three things, so they become your holiday routine. For example, if yours are your children, films and surfing, then schedule in some days down the coast and check out the new Star Wars flick with the kids on the weekend.
This sounds like an obvious thing to do, but planning for the good times often needs as much effort as everything else.
Go and dye your hair a different colour, eat that extra piece of pudding, don’t drive to parties, use the good napkins, sleep in until midday, let the beard grow out, have an afternoon nap, let the kids eat dinner on the couch, choose full-cream, pick the overhanging fruit from your neighbours apple tree, binge on some TV and once you’ve ticked off at least half of the above, dye your hair again, just for fun.
They say you shouldn’t make life-changing decisions when you’re stressed, because judgements can be impaired. Therefore, if you’re thinking about undertaking any big changes in your life, a winter break is an ideal time to think through them clearly.
If that life-changing decision is career-related, check out the many career-related advice articles on this site.
A daily mental refresh will help you recharge and will set you up better for your return to work. So set some time aside for you, and only you, to meditate, walk or read.
Also, try taking a break from social media. It can be very therapeutic.
Try and return to you workday sleeping patterns in the few days leading up to your return. This will ensure you won’t experience any jet lag type symptoms in your first day back.
Also, if you’ve been avoiding the inbox for the entirety of your leave, take a quick skim through to avoid any nasty surprises on Monday morning. This will give you just enough time to process any pressing matters for the coming week.
Oh, and remember to dye your hair back to the way your work likes it.