Just the word “vacation” brings to mind relaxation, fun, time with loved ones, and a much-needed mental break. For far too many people, though, the thought of taking a vacation from their work makes them feel guilty or anxious.Are you one of those people who hyperventilates at the thought of taking time away from your job? Do you worry you’ll fall behind or look like you’re not at the top of your game? The fact is, taking a vacation can actually further your career. Wondering how that could possibly be? Here are some ways that you can push your career forward while you’re on a vacation.
Have a clear idea of what you want your time off to look like. Is your goal to spend some quality time with family? Is a time to reevaluate your priorities and do some introspection? If it’s just about fun and relaxation, that’s great! The point is that understanding what your goal for vacation is will help you come home with a clearer head, ready to get back into the swing of things, truly refreshed.
Turn off your brain
It may sound silly, but your brain needs a rest from the constant stress of your day-to-day work life. Decide that you’re not going to worry about what’s going on while you’re not there. Vacations can be full of new sights and experiences which can spark creativity. When you fully invest in the fun activities that a get-away is full of, you’ll come back to your work with new ideas and fresh motivation.
Unplug as much as possible
Depending on your work, it may be impossible for you to totally separate yourself. If that’s the case, put limits on what you’ll deal with and how much time you’ll allow to be taken up by your job responsibilities. For example, hold yourself to devoting a half hour a day to check on urgent emails or designate one-half of a day of vacation just to focus on work. You decide what works for you and then stick to your decision! The benefit is that you may have a lessened workload waiting for you when you return.
Mentally prepare for going back
Of course, you want to squeeze every moment of freedom out of your vacation but during the last few days, begin to think about what you want to accomplish in your career for the remainder of the year, quarter, or whatever period of time you choose. Think about ways you can achieve those goals and the actionable steps you’ll take. Doing this will help you to come back to work with a purpose and plan, rather than immediately returning to a feeling of pressure and stress.
Doing double duty
Sometimes a trip you take may be part vacation, part work. For example, if you’re a doctor you may choose to attend a medical conference that’s in an exotic location. If you’re a yoga instructor, you can choose to attend a yoga teacher training at a spot that affords you some beautiful downtime.
There are ways to combine a vacation with your career in a way that’s good for your work and good for your soul. Make sure that you’re fully present wherever you are. What this means is that during the time you’re at the conference, training, or whatever your particular function is, be mentally all-in. Focus and get the most out of it. Likewise, when you’re enjoying your downtime, fully engage! By following some of these tips, you should be able to enjoy a vacation while still keeping your work-life intact, knowing that you’re actually do going good things for your career when you take care of yourself.