A non-anxious vacation: Tips for taking time off

Picture this: There’s sand under your feet, waves washing against the shore. You’re reclined in a beach chair with an umbrella blocking the sun. It’s a brief moment of peace — until you remember your phone is right there, and it would be so easy to just reply to a few emails…

If this sounds familiar, you’re definitely not alone. A LinkedIn survey found that three in every five people continue engaging with work even while they’re supposed to be totally off the clock. Even honeymoons are often plagued with stress about staying on top of everything.

Switching to “vacation mode” or “disconnecting”  is easier said than done. Whether you’re an entry-level employee or a C-suite exec, the guilt and anxiety around taking time off persists. Nobody wants to return a week later to an irritated boss and an office in disarray. But there’s a reprieve: A few simple strategies can free you up to enjoy your PTO without those frequent twinges of alarm. Work.software is here to help.

First, remind yourself that you really are entitled to the paid time off that your employer provides. It’s not a trap! Yes, it can be trickier to navigate an “unlimited PTO” policy than a defined number of days, but no matter how your organization is set up, you should make the most of what’s offered. There’s no reason to be a martyr.

Second, plan.  Maybe you’re thinking, “Okay, but without me, even for just one week, my team will completely fall apart.” That might be true, but it shouldn’t be! Set aside time to develop a clear, concise coverage plan for when you’re out of the office. Then meet with everybody involved, individually or as a group, to answer any lingering questions about the game plan. (Do this well in advance of your awesome trip, not three hours before your flight.)  

Third, by utilizing Work.software’s playbook, your teammates can keep your tasks and procedures rolling forward throughout your absence.  Plan, communicate and execute. Your plays will be available to your coverage team to answer questions step by step.   And of course, always take a good look at the calendar before finalizing time off. Avoid being out of office on those deadline days and weeks so that instead of fighting against the schedule, you can just roll with it.

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