Research shows Americans are feeling overworked, disengaged, and burned out!
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- According to a Staples Advantage study 53% of Americans feel burned out
- According to Glassdoor 61% of people work while on vacation
What’s more? According to Captive Network workers are 45% more distracted during the summer resulting in projects taking 13% longer and productivity going down by 20%. The fact is we all need time to rejuvenate and the summer is the ideal time to do it!
When Planning Your Trip
Seek to Invigorate: First of all, find a trip or activity that you know you will enjoy. Seek out something that is invigorating not depleting. The idea is to get away and reduce your stress not add to it! Far too many vacationers put themselves into stressful travel situations that fly in the face of what a vacation is all about.
Pick a Good Time: You don’t want to leave at the height of your busy season or at the launch of a major project as this will just cause you anxiety! More often than not there isn’t really a good time, but there certainly can be some really bad times. Do what you can to avoid the really bad ones and just know there never will be a great time.
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Get Over Yourself: Far too often we overestimate how important our presence is to the effective functioning of the business! Guess what, chances are everything will run just fine without you! I’ve conducted numerous retreats and off-sites where executives had to disconnect only to find out that everything ran just fine while they were away! Sometimes you just have to get over yourself.
Before You Leave
Announce Your Departure: Let everyone know you are leaving for some well-needed R&R and rely on the power of guilt to keep your colleagues from reaching out too quickly while you are gone. If they know you are on a much needed vacation, they may be less inclined to bug you.
Let Go of FOMO: If you feel compelled to stay connected and in-touch while on vacation, ask yourself what is really driving this? Is it you, your colleagues, your boss, or you? Part of what drives this compulsion is what many of us refer to as Fear Of Missing Out or FOMO. Be sure to ask your colleagues what they’ll need from you before departing and leave them in good hands. Then, turn off your notifications!!!
Set Your Auto-reply: Set your auto-reply… and abide by it! Rid yourself of the inevitability for that pavlovian response to every ding and ping that hits your phone. Be sure to identify and designate a coworker you trust to list on your auto-reply as the one to go to in your absence. You should be able to take some solace in knowing that your auto-response has directed the individual to capable hands.
While You Are There
Get off the Grid: If possible, see if you can actually get off the grid. Believe it or not, the US still isn’t totally covered by cell towers… yet! There are still some dead zones out there you may want to look into! And, many aren’t that far from civilization. For example, some of our state parks like: Olympia State Park in Washington and Big Bend National Park in Texas as well as areas of the Grand Canyon and of course Hawaii and Alaska! If you truly want to get off the grid, look at your carrier’s cell coverage map! There may be a dead zone nearby where you are vacationing that you could slip to for the day.
Quiet Your Mind: I do like being active during vacations and certainly encourage it, but you must also set aside some time to still your mind so as to hit the reset button. Otherwise your head will still be spinning the whole time. Many resorts now offer mindful meditation courses and packages for all levels. There are even great apps you can follow along with. Even just five minutes of deep breathing each day can make a huge difference.
Have Meaningful Conversations: Vacation time can be downtime that offers an opportunity to reconnect without all the pressures and distractions of work. Be sure to spend time reconnecting with those you are with and have meaningful conversations about your experiences and how you feel. Just make sure to keep it positive.
When You Get Back
Debrief: Once you are back be sure to talk about thepositives and what you took away from the experience. It’s always good to solidify those positive memories and keep in mind why taking vacation can be so powerful.
Keep a Memento: Bring back a keepsake as a reminder or your experience. Place it somewhere on your desk and use it as a conversation piece to bring you back to that positive experience.