Holiday breaks from work are wonderful, but they go by so fast. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to help maximize the time.
The trouble with taking a vacation from work over the holidays is that there is just so much to do. By the time you attend the gatherings, buy the gifts, cook the food and visit the family, the vacation is practically over. However, the time doesn’t have to fly by quite so quickly. You can relax and enjoy your time away from work, even though you’re busy.
1. Schedule unscheduled time
One way to be sure you get some downtime during your vacation is to actually schedule it. Mark some spots on your calendar, around all the other holiday events, to just relax and do whatever you want in the moment. Then, protect these plans as if they are immovable.
2. Let others know
Whenever you’re taking time away from work, it’s a good idea to spread the word that you’ll be away. Let clients know when you’ll be gone, when you’ll return and what to do if they have any questions in the meantime. Set up an away message for your work email. Do whatever makes sense for your particular job to let others know that you’ll be on vacation. It will make it easier to take the time.
3. Prep some in advance
It’s so easy to postpone to-dos when you know you have a vacation coming up. But, don’t let all of your holiday preparations go until your time off. Instead, do as much as you can to get ready for the holidays in advance. This will help you have more time to work with over your vacation.
4. Don’t be too ambitious
Ambition is a wonderful thing, as a general rule. However, it might be best to avoid overestimating how much you’re going to accomplish over your holiday break. This probably isn’t the right time for rearranging the hall closet, cleaning out the garage, or starting to write your novel. Of course you have a lot to do. But, there are only so many hours and days in your vacation. So, if the task isn’t urgent, consider scheduling it for another time.
5. Have an adventure
Research has shown that active vacations where you do something new and different are especially beneficial. So, schedule something a little exciting for your time off. Having an adventure — to look forward to and to reflect back on — is a great way to maximize your vacation.
6. Don’t count the days
You want to enjoy your vacation as much as you can. One way to do that is by making a real effort to stay present in the here and now. So, resist the urge to count how many days of your vacation have already gone by and how many you have left. Instead, appreciate the things that are happening around you in the moment.
There is so much to do during the holidays. It’s easy to over-schedule yourself. But, don’t plan a long day of shopping for the morning after a holiday party. Instead, prioritize getting plenty of sleep during your vacation. This alone can help renew and restore your energies. It’s an important part of maximizing your time off.
8. Remember why
You’ll be more careful with the way you spend your time over the holidays if you always remember why it’s so important to relax during your vacation. You’ll be more productive, creative and successful at work and at home if you really get some time off.
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