I’m going on a family holiday soon and I cannot wait to board that plane. It’s been very busy in work in recent works with a fair amount of stress experienced. So when it comes to holidays, the trouble I’ve had in the past has been this: I have probably spent the first few days of a holiday still in “work mode”. I have found myself ruminating on work issues, thinking up new work to-do items and worrying about how things are going without me. The middle of a holiday seems fine and then as we get closer to the end, I start ruminating about work again as the dreads of going back start to emerge.
Does this sound familiar? Is this you? It doesn’t sound like much of a break, does it?
Well with this one step, you will be much better able to engage with your well-earned break and come back refreshed.
In reality, I am probably forsaking a large part of my well earned holiday by allowing myself to focus on things that I cannot influence being so far away from work.
This year I am choosing to do things differently. In order to avoid losing the first few days of my holiday to unwinding from work, I am trying to unwind while still in work. I know! Very sneaky eh?
The best way to avoid wasting the first few days of your holidays “unwinding” from work is to start unwinding while you are still in work!
Not too easy to do as if you are like me, in the run-up to annual leave it can be manic trying to get a million things done. I am not doing it like that this time. In fact, I am doing the minimal that I have to do before going on leave. I am taking the time to consciously step out of work mode a few days before I actually get on the plane. This way, I am hoping that I will be more in “holiday mode” from the start! I am also taking an extra day off before fly day so I can prep, pack and focus my mind more exclusively on the holiday and get more engaged with the whole process, rather than just being a passenger floating alone in my wife’s holiday.
So far so good, and surprisingly, when you choose to do the minimal tasks required, you can end up doing a better job and be less stressed about the whole thing because you are only focussing on a single job at a time. You also get a sense of satisfaction and completion from this as you are not trying to multitask like a fool and starting 14 different things and getting none of them completed well.
There is one crucial part of this strategy. You have to stop caring about what is going on as you will not be there. When you stop caring, it is far easier to let go of almost all of your pre-holiday must do list. It is a temporary step to allow you to step out of the work/ON state and into a holiday/OFF state.
Here’s to being more present on your holidays, getting some good rest and returning in better shape to be ON again.
Yours in health and happiness,