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Vacation Stress

by Randall Craig on December 19, 2006

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Planning, Time management

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If you’re counting the minutes before you go on vacation, you probably aren’t alone. You’re looking forward to seeing family, taking some long-needed R and R, and recharging yourself for the new year. But halfway through the vacation, you start to experience “vacation stress”: that insistent worry about your return to work.

While these tips won’t guarantee a great vacation, they will help prevent your job from intruding upon it.

1) Don’t schedule deadlines for when you are away – or if they are already scheduled, make sure your tasks are complete before you leave.

2) Set expectations: Tell key contacts – customers, suppliers, and anyone else you deal with that you will be away, and give them an alternate person to deal with in case of immediate need. Use technology – voicemail and email out-of-office reminders, for example, to help reinforce this message.

3) Make sure that your colleagues who aren’t taking time off know that you are away – and this means that you will not be doing any work, and that you do not expect to be called. Checking voicemails and emails prevents you from recharging, so avoid the temptation!

4) Organize your physical space before you leave, so that you come back to a clean desk. Over the year, many of us develop little piles of stuff that will always be dealt with “later”. That “later” should be before you go away!

5) Create a to-do list for when you get back. That way, when you are on vacation, you don’t need to stress about what to do upon your return.

6) If you are sneaky, tell everyone that you will be away one extra day. Then when you come in “early”, attack the mountain of emails, voicemails, and other assorted things that were sent to you while you enjoyed your vacation.

Enjoy your entire vacation: after all, you’ve earned it! And when you come back, you will be recharged and ready to take your career to the next level – without the stress.

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Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)