Postdate: 15 January 2018
You have arranged your business well and your colleagues and boss are informed. It feels as if you can now go on holidays without a care, but in reality, this can be disappointing. Work e-mails that keep arriving, a colleague who calls you: things can encourage you to start working while on holidays.
Letting go physically and mentally
Physically, you can remove yourself from your work, but mentally that is not always the case. On the contrary: to really let go of your work, you have to take things a step further. Maybe you were just about to lie down on the beach when a colleague or customer called you, but you decided to answer the phone because you felt “needed".
Reading and answering work e-mails is quick and easy, but it can seriously disrupt your rest and the ability to do fun things. In addition, you create high expectations by always and everywhere being contactable. Colleagues may think that they can always reach you, because they know very well that you will answer them within half an hour.
Always and everywhere available
The need to respond often stems from a fear or uncertainty about the work situation. Where does this stem from? Smartphones are always around, even on holidays. However, there is a simple but effective solution for this: out of sight is out of mind. If you have a work phone or laptop, it is wise to leave this at home. What you don't have with you, you can’t use. If you use your own smartphone for work, turn it off completely (or only use the internet if you want to take pictures) and take it with you as little as possible so that you won't be distracted. Taking a proper holiday is better for your productivity than keeping busy with work, and being irritable when you return. If you have a certain level of job stresses, you can write these out of your system into a journal in order to be able to enjoy your holiday anyway.
Therefore, to avoid working during your holiday, two things are important: appointments and letting go. Round off the most important tasks before your holiday, and communicate with colleagues about the work they can do and want to take on themselves. By then also being unreachable by phone, you can create your space and rest so that after your holiday, you can face things again with renewed courage!
‘The vacation we often need is freedom from our own mind’