Take a Vacation – It’s Very Productive!
This may be a surprise to all of you who know me as a busy bee – but I am on vacation! Yes, even the most productive among us have to find time to sit back and relax. For the next few weeks I’m doing a lot of hiking (and recovering from hiking with a cool drink and a book afterwards…), as well as posting a blog for you all, of course!
Since I’ve got relaxation on the mind, I thought I would try and impart some wisdom on just HOW to relax – and make it count. It’s easy to take a few days off and fritter them away thinking about to-do lists, returning to work, or even packing your vacation time with as much excitement as possible, filling what should be a period of tranquility with unneeded stress. You deserve better! Not only will more effective rest make you happier during your vacation, but it will allow you to feel so much more recharged for work when you “get going” again.
Here are three strategies for getting the most out of your time off:
Know that your vacation is a good thing! There’s no need to feel guilty or restless about giving yourself a break, simply because you aren’t working. The fact is that, while you aren’t being productive per se, you are contributing to your ability to be productive later. The Atlantic, after looking at the science behind restfulness, found that “breaks are better for our brains than overtime.” Vacations radically increase worker productivity by improving mental health and motivation. So trust your relaxing self; you’ll be able to do far more after a few more dips in the pool than a few extra hours grinding away at your desk.
Sleep well! I cannot stress this enough – sleep is critical in recharging every part of your well-being, and you can’t be at your best if your health isn’t at its best. But even when you’re on vacation, it can be hard to squeeze every ounce of restfulness out of a night’s worth of sleep. There are some ways to “hack” your sleep patterns for the most rest possible. Try avoiding “blue light” – the kind often emitted by TV, computer and cell phone screens – for an hour before bed. Scheduling out your sleep pattern can help you take advantage of your full sleep cycle too; use this tool to find your perfect bedtime.
Get away from emails! The advent of email is a great yet tricky thing – it makes communicating easier, but ever-present. When you’re always an email away, it can turn the 40-hour work-week into a 24/7 work-week, leaving little time for actual restfulness. As discussed, that restfulness is precious, and there are ways to keep email from stealing it away. Vacation auto-response is a feature on many email platforms, allowing you to notify those who email you that you’re on vacation. If the person’s message is critical, you can include other contact information in the customized response. It’s OK to be out of touch for a while, and this is a great way to tell others that in a respectful way.
It’s my goal that these tips will allow you to relax and replenish your energy for a great summer ahead. I’m trying them out in preparation for my webinar on July 23rd about “The Power of Evernote” (which you can still sign up for here!). Here’s hoping that you’ll see me more relaxed, recharged, and ready to be productive than ever!