7 tips to leave work behind during holidays

Do you find it hard to resist the temptation to ‘quickly’ scroll through your mailbox on your smartphone? Quickly send the text to your colleague or answer an email? This way holidays aren’t really relaxing. While really they are necessary to top up your batteries so that you’re ready for new challenges ahead.

Perhaps one of the following thoughts has gone through your mind during holidays?

  • “It will all go wrong without me.”
  • “I’d better call the office or check this report.”
  • “I’d better keep my mobile phone within reach in case they need me.”

Did you nod ‘yes’ at least once? Awareness is the first step toward change. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why I am indispensable?
  • What cannot be done in the office because I’m absent?
  • Am I calling the office to meet others’ needs or my own needs?
  • How bad are the potential consequences if something goes wrong?

Test your answers and discuss them with a counsellor or coach. Is this really true or are you making assumptions?

We all have an internal voice telling us how to think and feel. As a saboteur it’s keeping old recurrent patterns going. You can break the patterns by consciously putting in an effort. Some examples:

Saboteur voice: Rest and relaxation is lazy!

The remedy (say out loud): I may take vacations and enjoy them. This is useful use of my time to recharge my batteries.

Saboteur voice: I am indispensable in the office.

The remedy: I may be absent so that others will appreciate my qualities and strengths even more.

Saboteur voice: Chaos reigns if I don’t have daily contact with the office.

The remedy: I may show trust in others’ capabilities to manage by not contacting them.

Relaxing holiday

With these tips you can really enjoy your vacation:

  1. Make clear agreements with your colleagues in advance.
  1. Appoint one person to be your coordinator who’ll decide on whether you can or cannot be disturbed for an urgent matter. Discuss with this person his/her powers and limitations before you go on holidays.
  1. Agree on the best time to contact you if necessary.
  1. Write guidelines for colleagues and staff. A good briefing is reassuring for yourself and for others.
  1. Stuff your holiday planning in agreement with your travel companions : relaxing together, excursions, do sport activities together… This prevents you from grabbing your mobile phone in an empty moment.
  1. Reward yourself for every day you haven’t called the office.
  1. Upon your return from holidays praise your colleagues for their coping abilities in your absence.

The inner voice is activated as soon as relaxation sets in, so plan for lots of relaxing activities during your holidays! Your travel companions will be grateful. You don’t want your laptop to end up ‘accidentally’ in the pool or in the sea? ;)

And now? Enjoy! Have fun!