How to maximise your time off from work

 

Keep your work phone in the hotel safe so you aren’t as inclined to reach for it.

Keep your work phone in the hotel safe so you aren’t as inclined to reach for it.

 

Studies have continually shown that taking time off makes us better – professionally, physically and mentally. The problem is, while many of us are using paid time off, we’re not using it to its fullest potential.

To truly disconnect from everyday pressures and reap the benefits of a holiday, try these three helpful tips:

1. Fib on your out-of-office message: 

Even if you plan to occasionally check in, tell people you will have limited email access and to expect a reply on, or shortly after, your return.

You might also want to set up a schedule for yourself. For example, you can decide to check your email once midweek and once at the tail end of your vacation, allowing yourself to respond to urgent messages.

2. Designate a concealed place for your technology: 

Gain some freedom from your device by finding a designated space, like a hotel safe, to store it. Keep it out of sight, so you aren’t as inclined to reach for it, and set up a schedule for when you’ll check in.

3. Ask your direct reports for a recap: 

It can be a challenge – and a bit of a rude awakening – to return from vacation and try to get a handle on all you’ve missed. To combat the post-holiday blues, ask your direct reports to send you a briefing the day before your return with a bulleted list of the most important info gathered while you were gone. – (Copyright Harvard Business Review 2017)

Previously published in The Irish Times.

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