Last month we asked you to describe your holiday vacation plans. The overwhelming majority of people said they don’t have time for a vacation. The truth is, many of us struggle to unplug from work, but it’s so important we do so. Here are some potential benefits on why you should put that out of office message on and tips on how to truly disconnect this holiday season.
Benefits of Disconnecting from Work
Increased Productivity: It may seem counter-intuitive, but taking time off from work may help you become more productive. Vacations give you the time to relax and recharge, which should leave you feeling refreshed and less stressed. This, in turn, allows you to better focus on work-related activities when you return to the office. Also, a change of pace may boost your creativity. Time outside of the office allows you to explore new interests and experience new people, cultures, and things. When you get back to the office, you can use these new interests and experiences to fuel your creative fire.
Be More Present: When you disconnect from work, you may be able to become more present. Not having an endless to-do list running through your head, can help you focus and appreciate the present. Being present in the moment may lead to greater enjoyment with work, time with friends or family, etc.
Tips on How to Disconnect from Work
Be Realistic: It is important to set realistic expectations when deciding how you will unplug during the holidays. Not everyone is able to close their laptop and not pick it back up for two weeks. If you need to check your email on a regular basis, set aside a small amount of time every day to do so. If you know you will be with friends or family, make sure they are aware of your plans. This will not only help them understand your intentions, but also help you stick to your plans.
Plan Ahead: The next tip to disconnecting from work this holiday season is to plan ahead. Once you determine what dates you’ll be out of the office, you can start preparing. First, let everyone at your company know what dates you’ll be out. Second, create and schedule your out of office message. And third, let your team know how to reach you in case of an emergency.
Work Ahead: Now that you have your plan in place and know what days you will be out of the office, you can start zeroing in on what tasks or projects you can wrap up beforehand. The more you can check off your list before you unplug for the holiday, the less stressed you may feel. This will allow your time off to be all about recharging and enjoyment, rather than a to-do list.
Work-Related Notifications: It’s very easy to get pulled back into work-related activities when you’re constantly seeing emails and messages pop up on your phone. Do yourself a favor and turn off your work-related notifications on your phone.
Plan Your Return: If you have a hard time disconnecting from work when you’re on vacation because the thought of returning to work with a bunch of tasks overwhelms you, then you should make a plan for your return. Before you leave for the holidays, any tasks or projects you are unable to check off your list, make a plan of attack for when you return to the office. This may help relieve some of your work-related worries while away for the holidays.
Disconnecting from work allows you to relax and recharge. Try these tips and see if your productivity increases and you’re able to stay in the present easier. While unplugging with friends and family this holiday season, be sure to stay germ-free with Dial hand soap.