Now that the summer months have begun, everyone is eager to get away from it all to recharge their batteries. Whether you're travelling to a tropical beach or spending your holiday in your own garden, it's important to completely disconnect from work for a while. But how do you make sure you don't take your work stress with you on holiday?
Clarissa Pryce, Manager at staffing specialist Walters People, offers some tips to let go of your work stress so you can fully enjoy your well-deserved break from day one.
Give yourself a break
Letting go of your work is not always easy. For example, when an assignment is not 100% finished, the temptation to continue working outside working hours is strong. According to Clarissa, however, it is important to make time to sufficiently relax. "Working too much is never healthy. You work overtime, leaving you tired or maybe even cranky the next day. That way, you no longer add value to your organisation. Relaxation helps to clear your head for a while, so that you can then get back to work in good spirits. So it could be argued that letting go of work helps increase productivity. It is not easy for everyone, but it is an absolute necessity to find a good work-life balance," says Clarissa.
Take the necessary precautions
When you leave on a trip, it is virtuous to take a break from work completely. But how do you do that? Clarissa: "First of all, it is important to take the necessary precautions. Make sure you create a clear overview for yourself and your colleagues of what still needs to be done. That way you know what you still need to continue working on when you get back, but you can also plan better. If you don't, you will unconsciously continue to work during your holiday anyway."
Prepare your trip well
The period shortly before your holiday is also important. Prepare for your possible trip, finish as many tasks as possible, and don't take on too many new assignments in the last weeks before your leave. "What can also be a big help is to set your out of office notice a day earlier than your actual departure date. That way, you can keep that last day completely free to get the last things in order, without being constantly disturbed," Clarissa offers.
Assign a colleague
In addition, assign a colleague to provide answers to urgent questions directed at you during your absence. "Whenever possible, ask that same colleague to possibly follow up on some ongoing issues during your leave. In that case, make time to prepare a follow-up and inform your colleague about what is expected of them so that they can follow up independently and you can relax on holiday knowing that everything is under control," Clarissa explains.
Learn to put things into perspective
When the prep work is in order, the most difficult part starts: just not thinking about your work anymore. There are a few more things that can make this easier. Clarissa: "For example, learn to put things into perspective as much as possible. For example, ask yourself how important it is that you answer that email or phone call during your holiday. Maybe one of your colleagues can answer that email or maybe it can wait until you get back. That way, you can disconnect better and more easily distance yourself from it."
If you still can't stop fretting, it may help to make a list and write down all your ideas or tasks so that you don't forget them and have more clarity.
"For someone who finds it hard to let go of work, this can definitely help. This way you reassure yourself and you can continue working on that particular task when you return," advises Clarissa.
Relax outside your holidays too
"Finally, it is very important not to limit your relaxation just to that one holiday a year. You can use these tips to learn to let go of work every Friday evening, before going home and ending the working week. That way, you can enjoy your weekend to the full and start your working week on Monday recharged and motivated," concludes Clarissa.
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