Acknowledge that it is difficult to dissociate
For most of us, work consumes a significant part of our lives. Our work-problems and tasks to be handled keep running in the background of our minds. The more involved you are, the more difficult it is to dissociate. Further our innocuous smart phones have ensured that we are connected 24X7, regardless of need. Therefore, the first step to start dissociating is to acknowledge that it will not be easy. When you recognise that it will be tough to “let go”, you are more likely to put in place a conscious action plan instead of just wishing issues away.
Have a plan in place
Have a plan for your vacation. A break is about connecting with yourself and your dear ones, better. Therefore, plan your holiday well. Involve your family and/or kids to make this an enjoyable experience. Schedule activities together. This will ensure your commitment and make sure that you don’t sneak out those “10 more minutes” to catch up with work. You will now look forward to each new day with energy and excitement.
At the workplace, having someone else take care of your work is perhaps the best way to buy some peace. But be sure to distribute the duties among two or three people so that no one feels overwhelmed. Remember that you are going back to work with them again, so it doesn’t pay to load them up! Further, entrusting all the work to one person is the equivalent of putting all the eggs in the same basket. If this person is not available for any reason, the whole plan falls apart.
View this delegation as an opportunity to develop your team into accepting higher responsibility. Create a team calendar. Put in all the important deliverables. Be as specific as possible. At least a week before the break, discuss and put the plan into action. During the trial run, iron out any glitches that come up. You may also use the delay delivery messaging option to set up email reminders to be sent a day or few hours before a task is due.
Inform key stakeholders
If there are any scheduled visits from customers or third parties (suppliers, contractors, engineers) during your break, remember to re-schedule the same. Inform key stakeholders, especially those in distant offices, how long you will be away, instead of letting them find out from an out-of-office email. Provide them with an alternate contact to help them during your absence. Informing before-hand adds to your credibility and presents you as someone they can trust and continue to do business with.
If you are going to be away for a month or longer, it pays to schedule some office time. This could be as little as an hour every week , say every Tuesday at 11am. This will help bring up any issues that absolutely need your attention and guidance. Be religious about this time and keep it short. This arrangement ensures that your team does not feel stranded. Further it helps organize tasks and get more done instead of going back and forth multiple times. It also keeps potential disasters at bay.
Disconnect from Social Media
We know that FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is real!! Most of us spend way more time online than we would like. Quit stealing time away from yourself. Sharing holiday pictures with the world can wait! Disable all push notifications on all devices, because they grab your attention and break the productive spell. Utilise the Air plane mode on your cell phone to have uninterrupted chunks of time or better still switch it off and leave it in a locked cubicle!
Now go ahead and have a stress-free holiday!!