It’s typical for entire families to celebrate the month of August by shutting down the computer and skipping to towns and resorts. From a raw numbers perspective, this counts as lost work (as I used to think). But that’s a short-sighted view, psychologists now say: In fact, by serving as the least productive month for millions of workers, August unexpectedly serves as a productivity-booster.
Your might be in low-battery mode, you may even put yourself in airplane mode a week before vacations to save the energy that will make you last until the day you will have some time off to charge yourself. That time might be now, but in most of the cases there are so many things going on that can’t wait, that you will end up bringing your laptop, checking your e-mails every other hour and keeping yourself busy to not be disconnected of what is going on.
Truth is, you should plan your vacation accordingly. Here are my tips for those who want to have great vacations while being in the know:
- Set up autopilot. Have your team work with objectives that can be accomplished without supervision. Or have your campaigns going on autopilot. Tools can help you and it will seem like you are still working while being away. If you do this all year round, supervising every detail, now it is that time that you reuse successful campaigns or have your team doing all those things that couldn’t be done because of timing. Run scheduled reports if you wish to check out results while being away.
- Check your e-mail every other day. Plan your 30 minutes round up of e-mails, you may have hundreds of them but only a few of those are important: Highlight them, and if they don’t need an immediate response, save them for later.
- Respond only 3 e-mails that are really important every other day (or none).
- Have a 2 hours e-mail session if your vacations is longer than 1 week. If not, it can wait.
- Check your phone and return the important calls. Turning your phone off is the imperative of disconnection. If you have high responsibilities you can’t just break all means of communication, but you can connect when it betters fits your agenda. Check your calls after your e-mails and return those that need to be attended.
- Read about your expertise – Become better at what you know. This is perfect timing, resting means reading to me, or watching movies, going to galleries, or bringing yourself to areas that are unknown. Plan your vacations having some time to get better at what you do, to know more, and to gather ideas that will boost your productivity once you are back.
- Step aside. DIS-CON-NECT. Do all those things that will give you an adrenaline rush. Spend time with those that you haven’t seen in ages, and spend time for yourself (who provably haven’t time to think of in days). Have those 12 hours sleep, or 5, but plan your days to enjoy what you do. Stepping aside means, do what you care of, while not having anyone telling you what you have to or not have to do.
I dare you to enjoy your vacations while getting better at what you do and being recognized for it by your co-workers. If you like what you work on, this will be a piece of cake. If you love what you work on, vacations will be the time you boost yourself.