Part blessing and part curse, but generally a delight regardless, a working vacation ticks all the right boxes for many a worker. On one hand, you get to enjoy your vacation while still producing results. On the other hand, you find yourself challenged to balance work and leisure, particularly if you travel with others. To help you stay on task and ensure your working vacation falls more on the blessing side, consider these seven tips.
1 – Set clear work hours
To avoid and imbalance of work and play, set clear work hours for yourself. By setting work hours, you plan leisure time accordingly. Clear working hours on a working vacation ensure you maintain a healthy work-life balance. With planning, a schedule allows you to enjoy your time off and traveling companions. Set clear working hours in these three ways:
- Establish a schedule: Create a work schedule that outlines your total allowable working hours and the times when you will be available for work-related tasks. Stick to your schedule as much as possible to avoid working outside of designated hours.
- Communicate with colleagues: Inform your colleagues about your working hours and let them know your availability to respond to messages and emails. Make sure to set expectations about your response time. And establish boundaries to avoid being overwhelmed with work tasks.
- Utilize technology: Use technology to your advantage to help manage your workload and avoid working outside of designated hours. Set up email filters or notifications to alert you only during work hours. Also, use productivity tools to help you stay on task and avoid distractions during designated working hours.
2 – Plan ahead for your working vacation
Before your vacation, make a list of tasks you need to complete as you travel. By outlining your tasks, you hit the ground running and stay focused on your work. Planning tasks helps you maximize a working vacation in several ways:
- Prioritization: By planning ahead, you prioritize work based on importance, urgency, and feasibility. This allows you to focus on the most critical tasks and complete them efficiently.
- Time management: Additionally, planning tasks helps your efficiency by allocating specific time blocks for work and leisure. This ensures that you complete work on time while also scheduling time for relaxation and pleasure.
- Reduce stress: To reduce stress, implement a clear plan for your tasks. By doing this, you accomplish your work in a more organized and relaxed manner.
- Increase productivity: With a clear plan in place, efficiency and productivity increase. Therefore, avoid wasting time on less important tasks and stay focused on completing priorities.
3 – Create a designated workspace
If you’re staying in a hotel or Airbnb, set up a designated workspace where you can work efficiently. If you do, you realize several benefits, including:
- Increased productivity: Once again, productivity carries a high value on a working vacation. When you designate a workspace, you separate your work life from your vacation life. Consequently, this increases focus as it reduces distractions by the various leisure activities and sights around you.
- Better work-life balance: By creating a designated workspace, you set specific hours for work. Stick to them, so there is time to enjoy your vacation fully without work guilt or work stress.
- Reduce stress: When you have a designated workspace, you reduce the stress of trying to find a place to work. Each time you plan to set up for work, you won’t seek out a new quiet space, nor spend time looking for the tools you need to complete your tasks.
- Improve organization: Once defined, your designated workspace keeps you organized as you have identified things you need to work such as wall outlets, access to refreshments, and a lovely, but not-too-distracting view.
4 – Disconnect from distractions
To begin, the goal of a working vacation is to balance work and leisure activities. Be sure to prioritize self-care and relaxation to make the most of your time off.
- Turn off notifications: The notifications from your phone easily rank as the simplest and most intrusive distractors. Turn them off when you sit down to work.
- Log out of social media: While you work, log out of all social platforms, so you are not tempted to share a selfie or engage with a friend.
- Reduce the sensory distractions:
- Next, consider using noise-canceling headphones to block out any distracting sounds.
- Lastly, don’t park yourself in a location where the view opens to a lot of activity that can pull your attention away from work.
5 – Take breaks
Just as in the office, while on a working vacation, take regular breaks during your work sessions.
- Work in increments: For example, set your timer for 45 minutes of focused, productive work. Then, take a 15-minute walk around the property to recharge your creative batteries.
- Schedule a coffee break: For this, plan ahead to grab a coffee or refreshment after you complete a specific task. These little rewards balance your work and vacation pleasure in doses.
- Plan an activity: To increase your level of satisfaction, plan your workday around longer breaks for meals or leisure activities.
6 – Avoid procrastination
Put off the temptation to procrastinate. Instead, get your work done first thing in the morning. This way, you can enjoy your day without the weight of work hanging over you.
7 – Stay organized
Keep your workspace and schedule organized to maximize productivity and avoid wasting time.
Finally, set realistic goals for yourself. Don’t expect to complete all of your work in one day. Prioritize and set achievable goals so that you can stay motivated and on track.
The Working Vacation: A Vacay That Works
In conclusion, a working vacation can be a great way to get work done while still enjoying your time off. Honestly, many travelers who happen also to be workers find themselves doing a certain amount of work on their travels anyway.
They do this even without having declared the trip a “working vacation.” So, in some ways, calling it by its rightful name helps one take ownership of it. And make the most of it.
By setting clear work hours, planning ahead, creating a designated workspace, and disconnecting from distractions, you can stay on task and make the most of your vacation. While you plan your trip, check out our advice on making any business trip enjoyable. Safe travels!