Episode 45: Take a vacation
Vacation is important for relaxation and connection, even in times of COVID. Our goal is to encourage you to take vacation, especially during this strange and difficult period. It takes trust and confidence to take time away from your desk, but we want you to unplug and take vacation, even if it means you aren’t leaving your house. Plan vacation around times when your job/group aren’t busy so you don’t end up having to log on. For example, if you’re in sales, plan it for the 1st week of the quarter, not the last. If you have a vacation planned before you start a new job, let them know in the offer process. Don’t plan a new vacation in the first 3-6 months in your job. When you’re new, ask your boss or colleague when a good time is to take vacation. Plan what you’re going to do and block your calendar. ESPECIALLY for a staycation. Don’t check email and act as if you’re in a place without internet access. Don’t try to vacation around meetings. Setting boundaries around vacation time is important, but managing calendars are critical. Clear your calendar, declining or rescheduling meetings for when you are gone. Managers- TAKE YOUR VACATION. Your employees are watching, and if they don’t see you take vacation, they’ll think they can’t. Lead by example. Hand off your stuff while you’re out. Ask someone you trust to cover for you. The more thorough you are, the less likelihood you will get called while they’re out. When you run a business, it’s very hard to fully unplug. You can do some things like having a good out of office saying when you’re out and when you’ll check email and respond to urgent emails. Liz checks emails twice a day to block, tackle and delegate, but does not do any projects while on vacation. Checking emails allows her to relax and know that her business is in good shape. Turn off Slack and all communication tools in vacation mode. Our rule: phones are only for camera use and communication with people who you are with. Set expectations for anyone you think may need you. Coming back: keep your vacation mojo by cleaning up your inbox before your first day back or blocking the 1st half day, prioritizing important projects and making your to-do list. Read emails top down to know what’s been handled. Remember that most of the emails will have been handled by the person covering for you, so look at them as an FYI. Have a meeting first thing to talk with the person covering for you to get questions answered about what you missed. When you’re covering for someone, at the end of their vacation time, send a “Here’s What you Missed” email to catch them up quickly. Vacations are important to fill your tank, take care of yourself, set example for others around you, and connect with your loved ones. You’re taking time off for you, and no matter where you go, use the time to rejuvinate and reenergize, even if it’s in la backyard.