Save your life, take a vacation
Taking a week or two away from work is a great way to recharge your batteries. Some down time will reset your stress levels and allow you to return to work refreshed and renewed. In fact, taking a vacation can save your life! In a study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, researchers found that among middle-aged men who were at high risk for coronary heart disease, those who went on vacation regularly (once a year) were 21 per cent less likely to die of any cause other than old age, and 32 per cent less likely to die of heart disease.
Another study, Framingham Heart Study, the longest-running study of cardiovascular disease, found that women who went six years between vacations were eight times more likely to develop coronary heart disease or have a heart attack versus women who vacationed twice a year.
Taking time away does not just mean a change in locations. Juggling business demands while trying to spend quality time with your family is difficult and frustrating for all.
It can be difficult to get your head out of the office, especially when we are conditioned by the ping of an incoming email or text.
You could leave all your devices at home but this not always possible or feasible. Much of our personal life revolves around apps and contacts through our phones.
Discuss with your family and friends you will be spending your vacation time with what is acceptable as far as using your devices. They may not be welcome at mealtimes but checking facebook while lounging around the pool may be fine. Setting these expectations up front can save any hurt feelings from phubbing.
Tips for limiting work related distractions
- Make a list of specific ways you will use your devices when on vacation. Decide that accounts and apps (work related) you will stay away from and set up vacation auto responder messages.
- Delegate your communications to a staff member or fellow employee where possible. If this is not possible, consider a telephone answering service or call answering service to manage your phones calls and emails.
Outline what you want to be informed of during the vacation and what can wait for your return.
- Set clear expectations, let your staff and customers know what they can expect or can’t expect while you are away.
- Set up a check in schedule in advance, you may want to check your email every morning at 10am for 15 minutes. Let your family know so they know you are going into work mode. Let your colleagues know if and when you will check your email.
- Turn off any work related timers and notifications on your devices for the duration of your vacation.
- Leave a list of preferred venders with your staff so they have some direction should a problem arise. For example the plumber you prefer to use should the toilet become clogged.
Be committed to taking a break, we all need to escape the daily grind to recharge. With a little up front planning you will be able to relax and enjoy.