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How To Work On Vacation (Without Letting It Ruin Your Relaxation)

For many of today's professionals, working on vacation is simply part of the job. In fact, about 60% of people have worked while on their getaway. Perhaps you are telecommuting and don't want to take time off, or maybe you are an entrepreneur simply keeping tabs on your company while you are away. Either way, it is all too easy to let working ruin your vacation, robbing you of that relaxation you so need.

Fortunately, if you absolutely have to punch the clock while you are away, there are more productive ways to get your work done while still basking in the sun. Studies show that 37% of families say that vacation makes them happy, making it the most happiness-inducing activity.

So, how can you reap the joy and benefits of your time away while still doing the work you need to do?

Use this guide to integrate work into your vacation without stressing too much, ultimately returning feeling more refreshed.

  • Block Off Work Time: Block off specific times of the day that you are planning to work and do what you can to stick to that. Otherwise, you'll constantly feel like you're working. One of the best ways to do this is to get up earlier than the rest of your family to get work done in the morning and maybe use the hour or two before dinner when everyone is getting ready.
  • Set Boundaries: While you are working on vacation, it's important to have limits. After all, this is supposed to be your time off. For example, consider checking emails but turning off your phone. This holds you accountable to controlling your work time.
  • Set An Away Message: Just because you are working on vacation does not mean you will be reachable all the time, so still write an email away message. This way, your clients and coworkers can forgive you for a delayed response time.
  • Stay Positive: Being negative about having to work on vacation will only make you miserable, ruining all of the time that you are not working. Remember that you are spending the majority of your time just enjoying your time off. By focusing on the positive, clocking in will only feel like a small portion of a larger good time.
  • Know When To Unplug: Prioritize moments of pure leisure and relaxation. If you are one of the 46.3 million U.S households that are lucky enough to own a dog, take your pooch for a long walk on the beach after you finish your morning work. These moments will help you stay recharged.

Above all, remember that not working on vacation is always preferable. It's important to use that time to recharge. Taking time off will make you a more productive and relaxed worker, ultimately furthering your professional career. But this is not always the reality.

"You’ve read all the articles about 'unplugging' on vacation -- but you know you aren’t going to do it," Devin Tomb writes in a Fast Company article. "We’re millennials, and that means we like to work just as much as we like to play. But here’s the thing: If you don’t chill out and enjoy your hard-earned vacation, odds are you’re going to burn out, and that helps no one."

So, if you must work on vacation, be sure to do it well. You don't have to let it tense up your down time.


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