How to Unplug on Vacation


I hope you have some fun vacation time planned this summer! And I hope you'll truly leave the office behind when you're away.  

Taking breaks to recharge is one of the best ways to enhance your productivity and performance. But you miss out on those benefits if you still feel tethered to work while you're on vacation.

If you're anxious about what might go wrong back at the office while you're gone, think about answers to these questions before you take time off.

  • What do you need to feel OK about being off? Sometimes your team's actions can keep you tied to the office while you're on vacation. But sometimes it's your own mindset. What do you need to tell yourself so that you feel comfortable unplugging? Define for yourself what you need to feel calm while you're off and to turn your attention away from the office.

  • What are the big gaps? What are you most concerned about falling through the cracks or not being handled during your vacation? What plans can you put in place now to deal with those potential trouble spots?

  • How will you communicate? How often will you check email while you're off (if at all)? What merits a text or phone call to you, and what should your team members decide on their own? Establishing boundaries around communication will go a long way toward easing stress for both you and your team while you're off.

  • What happens in a crisis? Who on your team has the authority to make big decisions in your absence? Or should they clear things with another leader with while you're gone? Your team should feel empowered and capable enough to handle most things on their own so that you're not drawn back into work when you should be recharging.

If you can't get away from the feeling that the sky is going to fall where you're gone, that's a deeper issue to deal with. Think about how you can do more to set your team up for success and growth. Here are some past articles that can help:

"Building a Strong Team," one of the titles in my Leadership EDGE SeriesSM, has more ideas you can use.

If you have vacation time coming up, use these tips to make the most of your opportunity to recharge — and your team's opportunity to step up and shine.