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This Is A Custom Widget

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How To Really Have A Holiday

How To Really Have A Holiday

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How To Really Have A Holiday

May 1, 2015

How many times have you told your boss or colleagues that you’ll “still be available”, “still be checking emails” on your upcoming holiday, or alluded to the fact that you’re “not really on holiday?”

The truth is most of us are wired to feel guilty about taking a break from work. We believe we’re indispensable to the company and in some cases worry that we’re going to lose our clients or our job if we’re not continually available on demand.

For the modern day, device addicted workaholic, there are two really important things to remember about taking time off from work:

  • There will never be a “perfect” time to take a holiday
  • Your boss, your colleagues and your clients are all going to benefit from you taking time to reboot your creativity and talent.

For some perspective, taking 2 – 4 weeks off is really insignificant when you compare yourself to New York designer Stefan Sagmeister. He takes a one year sabbatical every 7 years, shutting down his entire agency. Stefan says as much as he loves his job, after a while he gets bored and his work starts to look the same. He takes this time out to “pursue some little experiments, things that are always difficult to accomplish during the regular working year. In that year, we are not available for any of our clients. We are totally closed. And as you can imagine, it is a lovely and very energetic time.”

Compare this mindset with most people’s daily addiction to continually checking emails and neurotically acting on notifications instantaneously. This inability to unplug is hazardous for our health at the best of times, let alone when you’re trying to take a holiday.

A recent study by mequilibrium showed that the problems with always checking our phones is:

  • We can’t say no to repeatedly checking notifications and it’s often in the middle or meals or other fun three dimensional activities
  • We feel worse afterwards, with many of us feeling annoyed, jealous or depressed
  • It makes us stressed, because you’ve just allowed one person (or 10) to “put a monkey on your back” when you’re not technically meant to be working
  • We end up spending more time with screens than people, and when it comes to our relationships with our partners or children, we’re letting precious time slip through our hands.

So, how do you successfully have a holiday that enables you to recharge and return to work with a smile and your creative juices flowing? Check it out:

Give yourself permission

Being a martyr about working while on your holidays, working yourself to exhaustion and having no boundaries with your clients serves no one, and also makes you a boring person. Get this straight in your head first.

Before you leave

Tie up or handover your projects. Make a list of the things you need to do on your return (so you’re not thinking about it on your holiday). Then, set your out of office reply with your return date (or one day later) and an alternate contact. You will find that most people will respect that you are on holidays and in reality most thingscan wait.

Enjoy your holiday from beginning to end

They say it can take up to a week to really wind down. That sounds like a ridiculous waste of time. Commit to being on holiday from day one by planning something relaxing to kick it off and make a concerted effort to shift your focus from work to wanderlust. Your family and friends will thank you for it.

While you’re away

Keep your hand off it! Stay away from your emails and social media as much as you can. Leave your phone in your room while you go out for the day and instead, do something nurturing or creative, get physical or read a paper book. Your brain will thank you for it.

Have you successfully switched off while being on a holiday or sabbatical? What is your number one recommendation for making the most of your time off? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Steve Revins

Senior Tech Talent Manager
  • author
  • author

An Irish cat living the dream in Sydney I don’t know what to tell ya! Even though I’m a long way from the homeland I’ve successfully built up 5 years of local industry knowledge specialising in emerging technologies. I have a strong JAVA and Ruby on Rails following in NSW and VIC. I also have extensive experience sourcing specialist software development teams for technology companies with highly transactional, high volume, data intensive environments. Let’s catch up for a pint, but do send me a message and we’ll see what happens!

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  • Steve Revins

    Senior Tech Talent Manager

IT & Digital Recruitment Without Guesswork

"Our strength lies in understanding the complete client environment, which includes not only the technology but also the mindset of the individuals working in IT environments. We provide a hiring solution that serves both the needs of its clients and candidates. We provide a premium IT talent management service supported by well thought out business processes and operating methodologies." - Steve Wilson, Founder CITI Recruitment

  • Steve Revins

    An Irish cat living the dream in Sydney I don’t know what to tell ya! Even though I’m a long way from the homeland I’ve successfully built up 5 years of local industry knowledge specialising in emerging technologies. I have a strong JAVA and Ruby on Rails following in NSW and VIC. I also have extensive experience sourcing specialist software development teams for technology companies with highly transactional, high volume, data intensive environments. Let’s catch up for a pint, but do send me a message and we’ll see what happens!

    Steve Revins

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